A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature
And when the truth about the emperor’s clothes was revealed
the crowd convulsing with laughter at his flaccid gullibility
you noticed a young man easing the battered patty of a wallet
from a bald man’s back pocket. Winking, the young man stuffed
the thing into the denim pouch strapped across his chest
then with two slim fingers tweezed a phone from the purse
gaping at a girl’s shoulder. What? you sputtered, turning away
to look at something, anything, else.
You crouched to retrieve a pacifier from beneath
your toddler’s stroller and found something else down there
like a pocket knife stuck in the dirt:
the word accessory. It pegged the pacifier; it pegged you.
Copyright 2017 Leslie McGrath. Originally published in Agni. Reprinted by permission of the author.