Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Looking Down

The roof beside me is tile: square, overlying one another
with careful, exact regularity. Susan lives there, beneath the red
and brown, shielded from the wind.
Beyond is another pitched roof with wooden shingles, split
in the sun, holding their nails in place.
My own roof undulates with waving sworls
of tile, nearly bucking me off of my perch
where I am clinging to the peak of grey and blue.

Behind is the Martinez' roof, flat,
They invite me to eat with them sometimes, out on that roof.
On those days their horizons rise above me, cut off
by my own second story, far above reaching. But the skies are beautiful.

Wooden slats, metal sheeting; the buildings around me wear
hard hats, top hats, stylish caps, and tarred raincoat hoods.
Looking down, I see the tops of their heads, all covered, mixing
aimlessly, determinedly.
These homes do not know that the pigeons can see through their hats
and into their hearts, like skylights into so many souls.

With the cooler fixed, I slide, carefully, into toe-reach
of the ladder. I place foot
and foot
before pausing for one more look. I look out at the city, up at the sky,
and down again, descending below my grey rippling roof.

May 28, 2009

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