pushing my luck
She’s got big plans…that don’t include you.
~Tom Waits, “You Can’t Unring a Bell”
Sometimes a city rolls out her sidewalks,
letting my boot heels tap the soft places
in search of a vein. I walk loud like I know
the place and I startle the pigeons.
If I’m feeling lucky, I make eye contact
with homeless men until I’m out of dollars.
Manhole covers and cathedrals speak
to me—foreign accents on a common tongue
I was not so much taught, but born to. If I’m lucky,
they’ll lead me to the city’s scattered secrets—
hedgerows of lilac or an abandoned factory.
A saxophone on the courthouse steps.
Better yet, construction crews tearing up
the streets. Once, in Minneapolis, I watched
a big man in a yellow harness and a hard hat
get lowered into the vessels that run underneath.
In a lucky city, the buildings loom gently
like a worried friend, and I will dare to walk
farther than my lover would care to imagine.
He doesn’t understand how good I am at this.
Wouldn’t forgive me for the man on the bus
who said, “I’d ask you to join me for dinner,
but you look like you have plans.”
About the writer:
Anna Weaver writes as a former soldier, a mind imprinted under Oklahoma sky, and a woman “with loyalties scattered over the landscape.” Her poems have appeared in Connotation Press, O-Dark-Thirty, One, and elsewhere—earning nominations for the Pushcart and other prizes. She has performed her poetry in 27 states.