40-Foot Orange Afro

I woke up this morning with a very big Afro
that I didn't go to bed with.
Somehow, it was hanging over the alley,
it was sticking out the roof,
it was feeling my neighbor's Frigidaire
and I was sure hed complain
as it swept the cracks in his living room.

I went outside for a walk
and the sun was very orange.
A man on the sidewalk moved away
as my Afro passed through.
Birds chatted inside it as I walked under trees,
sewers flowed through it underneath my shoes.
Stucco of apartment buildings
scratched at the peripheries,
I listened to the bad news
on the radios of passing cars,
I rode with motorists
and their cellphone calls.

To the top of Adams Hill I walked,
touching dogs, steadying children
and starting unhappy lawnmowers.
The big antenna at the top knew who I was.

From mountaintop to mountaintop
there was a tinge of orange in the air
with breezes and hazes playing in its lapses,
and the big white cross down at the cemetery
was as friendly as could be,
with the spooks stirring in their bitter beds.

The planet had weight beneath my feet,
but only there.


2005 Mark Giffin