S. Ellis

Inscrutable Totems

Untitled (abstraction) by Earle M. Pilgrim


                         The more I think, the less I am
selling wax roses in Greenwich Village,

       cardinal red as the Golden State Freeway :
.                              where James Dean
.                        rehearsed his vanishing act :

.     Jim, I see a heap
of horsepower about to heave into
.                        your jacket, a checkered flag :

       here, below the streetlamp,
a guy chats about hunting & misses
.                        the sunshine :

.         wonders : is it raining
where the Porsche cleaved in two,

or has anyone even noticed the hoof marks
.         on the shoulder? No

.     one plans on living long
.         enough to see it.


About the writer:
S.M. Ellis holds an MFA from New York University. Previous work has appeared in Paper Nautilus, Straylight Literary Review, Illuminations, Salamander, Columbia Journal, Iowa Review, and others.

Image: Untitled (abstraction) by Earle M. Pilgrim (1923-1976). No medium specified. No size specified. 1959. By free license.