On Phoenix Streets

I Without Explanation

Thirty yards from Central Avenue, silver rain
drips from a palm tree’s fronds
onto the grass strip parallel
to the sidewalk underneath the January interplay
between white clouds and gray
with wind enough to chill
anyone not moving.
A supermarket cart
is pressed against the trunk
with nobody close to claim
the cardboard and the red bag, slightly
crumpled and completely
empty, left in the basket.
Whoever stopped
here left no further trace
of his or her identity on leaving
yet the story begs an ending to explain
the still unopened blue
and purple glossy package
of fresh dog food resting
on the ground.
Even when the clouds part
no light is shed on a freshly purchased
thirty dollar’s worth of kibble
or who walks where with nothing
in the world but a dog
who follows a master’s fate to its end.

II Wordburst

A young woman alive
inside a speech bubble
calls out to no one in particular,
naming a person she hates
but never saying why.
She leans forward
to project her words
that have a fingernail
on chalkboard sound
until they dissolve
in the light rain
now falling.

III Prophet on Wheels

The man who rides his bicycle
into and out of downtown
doesn’t stop anymore
when he sees me, he just

pedals on
with his sack full of miniature tracts
describing the way

to salvation, which runs
south along Third Avenue:

just follow his bright green cap.

David Chorlton has lived in Phoenix since 1978. He grew up in England with watching soccer as a major part of life although he has managed to move on to other interests since then, including reading and writing poetry. Read other articles by David.