Hillsborough Avenue

Hillsborough Avenue
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audio: Hillsborough Avenue
audio of Nola Garrett's poem, Hillsborough Avenue

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Hillsborough Avenue

         —After Paul Verlaine

Rush hour. Rain. Behind me snakes the way
of expired wishes—warehouse whores, mold-filled
motels,drawbridge tenders, grease joints, bars,
black-windowed traffic—slicing the arms
of Tampa Bay. Ahead—sunset—a sullen dream
quarreling with amber. Each vehicle naught
but vertebrae aimed by the weary mob.
Red. Green. Caution. Red. Green—
the python writhes, squirms toward mortaged
pools—their yards, bramble-twined chaos—left, right,
a bush, a briar pushing its ghostly height—
more work. Dull hunger. Wiper: wiper. SLAM!
Rear-ended—I execute my drill—911.
Submerse anger. Trade I.D. Cop pulls in.