Actual Conrete Woman
It is my responsibility to the man who lives
beneath the bench in the museum to wake him
when the nightwatchman does his rounds.
He’s the last of his flock, just like Martha,
the sole surviving passenger pigeon, ending
up frozen in ice to be shipped and stuffed.
I know what I cannot say. But the whistle I heard
in the dead of night filled me with such gloom
I wanted to tell him secrets I’ve been keeping to myself.
Don’t ask me why I like the way he doesn’t complete
his sentences, or where he goes for those interminable
minutes when the guards scour the room.
Right now we’re all alone beneath the high ceilings.
My friend dreams he’s swimming, how soft
the lake’s bottom feels on his calloused feet.