Tuesday, November 27, 2018

My Aura By William Taylor Jr.

I get older and sometimes the bitterness
settles in when I'm not paying attention,
wandering through the fog of the days,
forgetting to listen to the music of things.

When it gets like this I walk the city
in search of unfamiliar streets and alleyways,
some new place to drink beer in the sun.

I pass old apartment buildings and corner stores,
all full of people I'll never know.

In the barbershops they chat
and read magazines,
they wait in metal chairs
for their turn to come.

I find a comic book store and these days
comic books cost like 5 dollars
instead of 35 cents,
and you buy them in these special stores
instead of 7-11's or gas stations
the way you did back in the day,

but the guy at the counter looks the way
comic book guys always have;
shaggy and overweight,
a bit standoffish but ultimately friendly enough.
I buy 27 dollars worth of comics
and continue on.

I pass by a fortune teller place
and a pretty girl stands outside
and tells me I have a good aura.
She's having a special today
if I'd like to step inside.

I tell her maybe on the way back,
and am momentarily sad
as I reflect upon the fact
that when pretty girls on the sidewalk
beckon you, what they most always want
is money or a cigarette, or to sell
you something you don't need.

I find a bar that looks okay,
there's a seat by a window
where I can read my comics
and watch the people as they pass.

Halfway through my second beer
I've regained a bit of a feel for things,
and I consider going back
to let the pretty girl
read my aura after all,

as outside this
slightly dirty window
people kiss
and empires fall
just like yesterday
and tomorrow.

William Taylor Jr. lives and writes in the Tenderloin neighborhood of SanFrancisco.  Heis the author of numerous books of poetry, and a volume of fiction. He is a Pushcart Prize nominee and was a recipient of the 2013 KathyAcker Award. He edited Cockymoon:Selected Poems of Jack Micheline,published by Zeitgeist Press in 2017. From the Essential Handbook on Making it to the Next Whateveris his latest collection of poetry.

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