and with very little—two small rooms
with banging standing pipes, heat
like the rattling of empty Goya cans until
it went out November 1997,
gas leaking from the stove as I boiled
hot water, scrubbed myself with inch-thick
car-wash sponges and became dizzy.
I thought of moving, but didn’t open
the window. The sounds, heavy boots
of Queens County police looking for
murderers, my sweat rubbing against my
sweat in the late summer, balls cold
in the winter-tatter of my old boxers, vibing to
ranchero music. Was this just a cell, I being held
for ransom by myself, impoverished
temporary proofreader, little to anticipate
except colors of Empire State Building,
Rockefeller Center at night.
Clint Smith is a freelance writer and editor currently living in Philadelphia, PA. His poetry has appeared at the on-line cultural portal turbula.net. He is also a jazz guitarist who performs (both solo and as part of different groups) in Philadelphia, New York, and other cities.