State of Emergency

by Amy Soricelli

There is always a long line here.  Starting from the broken sky
its siren screams from the door/mountains of glass assembled in garbage bags.
She needs the cheese that looks like melted sun.  Large block in slick plastic
peels back like a layer of ice.
Her four boys tumble out of their skin/create a city from the bricks
she carries in her pocket to back off the grabby hands;
the subways carry the grabby hands tunnels deep into the frosty night air.
Overhead fans whir whir she hears them nudge her -no sleeping.
She pulls tight her needle fingernails/under her skin she feels them when the trains move.
She has nothing to giver/her mouth wide open like a cloud.
She travels - a nomad through those cars swaying her hips holding onto the slick
greasy pole for balance.
She sees someone drew a heart on the bricks/two loud names in red twirled up
fancy like licorice wheels.
The older boy points to the man who looks like Jesus Christ sleeping by the fire escape/his beard
capturing outside screams/dust landing in his hair like wishes.
The shuffle of feet one in front of the other/dagger eyes deep down into shameless pockets -
she fingers her last ring circling around her bony fingers like a vulture.
It twirls and twirls like the deep ballerina memory of someone else.
The boys flop onto chairs/sneaker toes folded underneath their bodies/sniffling back
the hours of missed school in pinwheel sounds from slamming doors; someones
upstairs fight with barking dogs/sounds of plates crashing.  No one is surprised - it feels
like home.
They settle into the sound like a coat and wait their turn.

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