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   m o t o r c a d e

--- H A L V A R D   J O H N S O N

Settling into his flannels, he must have aged
something inflamed, turned off the light
and went into arrears. Always these complications

changing an orderly, conscientious girl into a tall young lady. Seeing a crumb or a stain would have relieved her. Two men wheeling

the old woman into the tunnel, caps set at jaunty angles. Trying to get the camera ready in time to take a few quick snaps. His knees

rise to meet him as he pitches forward onto the pavement, new sets of footsteps arriving each minute. Precarious

notions indeed. Two blocks down there's someone from Baltimore, listening, taking notes. Somehow she managed

to play it by ear. Music boxes and silk flowers set out there in front, in the center window. Move along, please. We've got to give them

some room to get by. Tomorrow is somebody's birthday, the whole town sleeping in patterned, zippered cocoons.

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