Industrial Design & Sunset
This taxi smells like the tiny box of empanadas
warming my lap
Eastward is summer sky, a row of trees
before a row of tombstones
I recall how as a kid, I loved the black hearse best
Once, after I stole my first candy, I saw one make a wide turn
failing to notice the funeral home
I yearned to ride in that glamour reserved for the dead
so much better than the fake wooden wagons
that smelled of dogs and dogs’ cages.
Now a silver ribbon of river runs a barely visible silk
thread—Chrysler drips demure jewels as night declines
I still yearn for the black bustle, promise of whalebone,
silk bows, and men in tailored suits waiting to kiss
Safia Jama is a Cave Canem graduate fellow, born to a Somali father and an Irish-American mother in Queens, New York. Her manuscript was a semi-finalist in the Pleiades Press Editors Prize for Poetry.
The Poetry Section is edited by Mark Bibbins.