Sweet Cesspool


Michael Brandonisio

Originally published in The Evergreen Review Issue 119 in August, 2009.

Walking past the dog feces
towards the promenade
to sit on a new wooden bench,
to eat an orange.
The bicyclists pedal along
hoping their exercise
will ward off sicknesses.
Long shaft of evening sun
shines on the lapping water
of the estuary.
Beneath the water’s surface
the muck, refuse and dead fish
must astound for its raw mystery.

By the railing that separates
sea from shore
three women yak in Greek.
They are each in their fifth decade,
living as they have lived it.
One wears a cast on her broken arm.
It must be lovely to shoot the breeze
on a late summer evening.
Later on, one or all of them
will be at home half asleep, watching
the late night news report about
who killed whom
who perished in the war
who raked it in at the expense of others
who drowned in the ocean
who never stood a chance
who became a star of the silver screen
only to fall from grace.

I miss you, George Sanders.