Poetry | Waking Under the Walnut Street Bridge by Mara Adamitz Scrupe

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        let me persist but not divide        let me sit

quietly with        the tiniest        let composure

        ride my thighs        & calves/ luckily

        for me my life’s

at its worst or exemplar

(sometimes) misprision or the feeling/ confidence things will get

better even        when they don’t/ Stockholm syndrome

sort of        so let me listen/ trace the linguist’s

lessons        with my tongue        do my best with

things corruptible/ colors lumens        & texts/ my body’s

contours by which I mean to measure all others        ashiver

this rheumy morning street – strafe        let me half

– smile        at the man waking under the Walnut

Street Bridge bundling up his bedroll let me not

fear        good morning        or        pretty day

on the way        let me glide the more terrible        apace

running not from fear but from anticipated

joy I’ll admit

        to evangelical/ the Lemming’s lost cause unsatisfied

with leave & sedge a truth – less myth of suicide creatures forced

off the cliff by the camera crew        let me        instead

        strive to do more/ better/ good/ let me dream

polyamorously        or just imagine much – loved & many –

praised all – embraced & brilliant        leave shifting sands’

        lustrous democracy perseverantly

                  let me give the lie to indifference once formed

        bone upon bone let me tongue soft palate

beneficence: let my manner of speaking make me

        mute        so I will in all ways        hear

By Mara Adamitz Scrupe