Martins Corner

by Kayombo Chingonyi

Martins Corner

Meat wagons sing an ode in sardonics

passing a bus held briefly to regulate


the service. Jesus loves you, if you

believe in signage. High heels clack,


are slung off, taken in hand. A shawl

flicked around our lady’s shoulders


flutters. She speeds up by Londis

past friends pressed against shutters


huddled, from the cold, round a zoot

twosed then snuffed by a scuffed shoe.


This is the hour when a silver glimpse,

likely a phone, is a blade and a patch


of shade must be an assailant. A couple

on their second date claim a requisite


slow-dance in the space where restraint

cuts its eye at recklessness, their arms


charm necklaces warding off the thought

of these limbs round some other neck;


the night, years hence, when they’ll forget

how to want and need in the same breath.