Palimpsest, Urban

Sidewalk sprouted more
candles bouquets foil heart balloons,
swallowed a child whole
into its undercarriage.

Its breath copper alchemy and
lead, ruptured promises,
knee’s leaps over
cracked back superstitions.

On a corner you can app map
a reroute real simple.
Bend wheels round
less troubled avenues.

Ancient streets bear the same
names as new paved ones.
New paved ones leave out
eye sores, promise you gladness.

From Hood Vacations (Black Lawrence Press, 2023) by Michal “MJ” Jones. Copyright © 2023 by Black Lawrence Press. Used with the permission of the publisher.