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Dan Speers

Citizen Poet
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                                                                                                     Everybody Loves Babies

Everybody loves babies.

 

A woman wails, a baby cries. Something begun. Something ended.

Both competing with other lies. Unattended.

Un ghetto. En Miami. Halo the day.

Radios.

 

A deep-throated voice stridently spits and sputters from an upstairs window;

Trumpet-infested jazz classically clutters an apartment one floor below.

Grease is sizzling in a pan. Bacon. I can tell

From the smell.

 

A fellow once a man, clothed in skin that once was tan,

     in a tee that was once a rag,

Takes a sip, then a gulp from something tall inside a paper bag.

A car grovels, chucks up a hack and starts.

A dog barks.

 

There’s an argument somewhere. The tone shrill, a tad rough. A teen

Stomps into a doorway and flounces out, acting tough, mean

Cuffing off relations yet again with her father

Or mother.

 

Somewhere, somehow, someway, and nobody seems to know why, it begins.

 

Between the turquoise building with flaking paint

And the one we thought was brick but ain’t

(That was all just a façade, you see, wiped out in the last hurricane)

Is this cottage, puckering up like a boil. Been there for years. Frame.

Little old lady used to live there, but she died.

Took over by her nephew, the one what was fried

Half the time on wine, the other half on squeeze.

Lastly at Raiford. Seems he was the reason she died. Sleaze,

Some said. Ricans, some said, but no one knew. The bank got it somehow.

They always do, if you wait long enough. Two sometime families

    sometimes live there now.

 

The brick building what ain’t is three-stories tall today,

Three being about the most you’d go if you wanted it to stay

Up in a hurricane. Waiting for gravity, waiting for maybe’s,

Mostly a baby factory now but that’s o.k. Everybody loves babies.

    While they’re babies.

People are always scooting in and out and around in unending haste

Like they had someplace to go, something to do, no time to waste

As they shuffle about and chatter and cluster and stand in queues,

They hurry up from nothing. Or sit on stoops,

    lying and chewing dried-out fescues

But all the while waiting, waiting endlessly in places without choices

Waiting for something, or nothing where even the waiting makes a noise.

 

Somewhere, somehow, someway, and nobody seems to know why, it ends.

 

Talking.

Talking, talking, talking.

Especially the young ones. Hooked on cell phones. Talking

Like they think they have something to say while giggling and gawking.

 

Talking.

Tight jeans, bare tummies, walking

Nubile breasts bouncing with every breath.

Like they think they have something to do besides talk each other to death.

 

Hello the night.

Noisier now. Music loud, bright.

Saucy salsa Latin sounds. Lovers plotting. Slip away. Slip away.

Sly smiles and daring glances. Taking chances. Bursts of laughter. Slip away.

 

The breeze brings sea smells.

People and palm trees scratching themselves.

The sirens. Televisions. Everybody has a baby and a television.

And everybody loves babies. While they’re babies. Something ended.

    Something begun.

 

Everybody loves babies.