The Roots Do a Live Cover of Mayfield's “Move On Up”
Copyright © 2021 by Cynthia Dewi Oka. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on March 30, 2021, by the Academy of American Poets.
That a potholed street in the middling borough of Collingswood, New Jersey, bears the name Atlantic, after an all-consuming body of water.
That all-consuming is Atlas’ curse to bear the heavens on his shoulders.
That after the fall of the gods, half of the heavens is darkness.
That inside the car speeding down the street, I believe I am safe from being halved.
Behind disinfected curtains, beyond touch of sunrise devouring the terrible gold of leaves, a man could be his own eternal night. City flattened to rubble, his surviving height a black flight of notes: the chip-toothed blade and oldest anesthetic. Escaped convict, he climbs wild-eyed, one hand out— running its twin on the rails of a broken Steinway.