i cringe at the taste of red #4,
but don’t know whether it’s red’s stench
or the bitterness of the number four
across Asia, “4” is an unlucky number —
the number of death —
but for some it tastes like citrus peel
Worn one more time than the number of funerals you attend,
that black suit hangs forgotten — yet dreaded.
It hangs dusty in a closet,
or musty in a bag;
and you’re most listless when it has
a crisp dry cleaning tag.
In good years, it never crosses your path — or your mind.
In bad years, it’s needed repeatedly.
There will be a year in which someone will pull it out for you —
carefully smoothing its lapels —
the year you move beyond bad years.
I watch the hawks —
watching me watching them —
and wonder how many of them I don’t see.
They’re better watchers:
-less swayed by boredom.
They stand, cloaked, as if in judgement —
Chief Justice of this street,
roving eyes in search of
one false move.
They are literal swoopers.
I’ve been accused of “swooping in,”
but I’m — at best — a figurative swooper.
Watch, swoop, catch, repeat…