Lush Life by Paul Ilechko

Lush Life

The lushness of city living
the darkness. . . .the noisome

stench of summer. . . .the cracks
that scar the boulevards as winter

bites. . . .as halogen erupts. . . .a
secondhand life of voyeuristic

obligation. . . .the jacket torn
the ramshackle shoes of sidewalk

life. . . .a fleshy strength. . . .his
shoulder shrugging nonchalance

the choice of violence. . . .avoiding
TV windows. . . .the dead

eyes of yesterday. . . .a memory
of Kentucky clay. . . .the kernel

of his presence. . . .his forgiveness
his blamelessness. . . .the corner-hugging

saxophone that infiltrates
his dreaming. . . .resplendent

in his filth. . . .he walks in circles
living on the tangent of his line.

by Paul Ilechko

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Editor’s Note: This poem is even more free than most free verse, but the choice of form (spaces, missing punctuation) skillfully emphasizes the fractured mental space of the speaker.