William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

What Happens Again

There’s magic in the old downtown district — the brick buildings and coffeehouses, the quaint shops and reading rooms, the moss-lined alleys, upstairs dwellings, dance schools, modeling schools, empty rooms full of derelict adding machines and typewriters, kicking through fallen leaves, inhaling the smoke of unseen cigarettes, the past, present, and future a grand composite, each patiently describing the other, self-effacing, a curious blend, the voiceless cough of a homeless man, the mission sidewalk littered with rotting bedrolls, light and shade, each person met a specific date in an unknown history, an unclaimed lottery winner, bread crumbs, pigeons, delivery vans, whispers, hands held.

What Happens Again

I’ve seen it before:
an old building
comes down,
but the sky
doesn’t rush in
to take its place.

A loved one dies,
but I can still
see the lines
on his face.

I can count
the bricks
that were there,
feel the warmth
in his hands.

Desire lingers
in a doorway
where light
never ends.

What happens
happens again:
places we’ve been,
people we’ve known,
dreams we are in.

Songs and Letters, November 18, 2005

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Categories: New Poems & Pieces, Songs and Letters

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