Poetry is when you find a windshield smashed with a baseball bat
and you smile,
thinking that the little pieces
look an awful lot like diamonds.
Poetry is when the seagulls
hung up in the night sky over the casinos
look like plastic bags,
Drifting on the dirty, gentle summer breeze.
You see, Poetry
is taking a breath on top of a parking garage
and closing your eyes to cry
where nobody’s going to stare,
is thinking about what’s out there
What’s going on in every housing project,
and why is that man holding his face in his hands?
is not nostalgic,
is not a sexy boy kissing a perfect girl,
it isn’t using logic, it’s more
is just being able to stand
and look at yourself and at others and at the pigeons and at the world
and shed tears because it’s all so perfect.
Poetry is being able to understand
That taking a child’s hand and walking down the promenade
is not just motions, it’s not just an action.
Poetry is realizing that every brick and nail that makes a city
was laid by hands that were once as small as those,
That every grain sand and piece of land on which we stand
is all the same;
Poetry is opening your eyes to the miracle
of the neon lights on a Corona sign,
seeing a squirrel for the first time
and living your life,
I don’t know how else to put it,