Glamor on the West Streets / Silver Over Everything

from the humid brick building below my humid brick building, a woman
bellows at the pizza man. who, it seems, threw no cheese atop the crust
& its red river of sauce because—as he shouts above the sirens of State
Street & the growing crowd lined outside his shop—it is Friday night
& he is woefully short on mozzarella & there are far better pizza options
on every corner of this city, overpriced & tonight bursting at the seams
with lonely people who will seek the warmth spilling from the edges
of a cardboard box & onto their laps & into their fingers on the walk
back to a newly empty apartment. I love the heat for how it separates
the desire for touch from the practicality of it. If it gets too hot to fuck,
like it did for mookie & tina, then we’re all on our own sinking islands
anyway. there is no cheese in this town anymore & what could be worse
than the fraction of a dream behind every door you crawl to. it is friday & surely
some of my people are praising the fresh coin in their bank accounts & what
a tragedy to spend it on a half-finished freedom & the argument below has poured
out into the streets & the waiting masses & I imagine this is no longer over
cheese but over every mode of unfulfilled promise. the cluster of sins still stuck to a body
fresh from the waters of baptism. the parent who must dig a grave for their youngest
child. from below, a man yells there are only three ingredients. you can’t even get that right.
isn’t it funny, to vow that you will love someone until you are dead.

Copyright © 2019 by Hanif Abdurraqib. From A Fortune For Your Disaster (Tin House Books, 2019). Used with permission of the author and Tin House Books.