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Published: Sun Jul 1 2007
Diego Isaias Hernández Méndez, Convertiendse en Characoteles / Sorcerers Changing into Their Animal Forms (detail), 2013, oil on canvas. Arte Maya Tz’utujil Collection.

Flung fog-net drapes over buildings and corner shops,
low-grade hum, as the old and lonely ones in iron beds

turn on their sore sides, traffic lights swinging bloodshot
over streets, chipped curbs, gutter-grate teeth and sludge.

Someone with a worn hand takes the towel from a hook
by the mirror, splashing water to tiles cracked at the head.

Nothing ever happens wafts in the air that won’t lift, until
four a.m. comes to push bar stools aside, mop floors,

and an old woman, entering the caf, unclasps
a cotton coin purse to count what might be a meal,

swivel door swallowing air from the street, rubber
flap shushing a fluttered waitress raising the blinds.

It’s dawn in another city and you are just off the bus
with the usual irresolution: you alone are here, and morning.

Lynne Potts is a former poetry editor of AGNI. Her first collection, Porthole View, won the National Poetry Review Press Prize in 2012. A second collection, Mame, Sol, and Dog Bark, came out from the same press in 2017. Other work has appeared in The Paris Review, Denver Quarterly, Crazyhorse, American Letters and Commentary, Hayden’s River Review, Guernica, and elsewhere. Selected by the Massachusetts Cultural Council as a 2012 Fellow, she has also been awarded fellowships by Virginia Colony for the Creative Arts, Ragdale, and Moulin a Nef in Auvillar, France. She has taught poetry in the American School of Marrakesh, Morocco, and the Global Institute of Technology in New York City. She  lives in Boston and New York, working as a freelance writer. (updated 7/2019)

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