Thursday, July 19, 2007

the sound of smoke

He was out all night, he told me.
By morning he was still too high to drive home.
So he walked west along the water
As the sun came up.
He stood at the shore
The sleeping towers of the city at his back.
It was so quiet he could actually hear the sound of the water.
And he could hear the smoke
Rise up through the mouth of the smoke stacks
Like the sound of tearing paper.
He continued west toward Spadina
And there to his left
In the grey lake water
Was an enormous fish.
The size of these two tables, he said
Gesturing to the two-seaters between us
Pressed together to seat four.
The fish swam along next to him
At the same pace he was walking.
The fish at his side
In the dark water
And he on the cold concrete.
When he finally turned up toward chinatown.
The fish continued on its way.
And he knew it was a sign.

3 comments:

Lx said...

when i read "poems" or pieces such as these, i first look for imagery, then for unity.

what i really love about your piece to-day is how you made me hear the sound of the smoke being exhaled by the factories through the stacks...like tearing paper.

i've always suspected that these mills and workshops had some kind of weird lungs through which all these toxins escaped, and i, too, was privy to the silent sound of pollution coming out of their smokestacks. this quick scene brought me back to 27 years ago, walking along the shore of lake Erie, in Cleveland, hearing the same exact thing you described.

good going, you.

t said...

very cool.

Rachel said...

Thanks! I always like to know what works.