Johns – Daniel Barrett



The whole lot of them
If there is such a thing
Hands in the pockets of johns
Awaiting passersby passing
Park benches
Grooved by the behind of time
Hunching cross legged
Counting pigeons
Looking up and down the boulevard
Past red lights
Blinking broken bottles

Steam ribbons smoking out of a deli’s window
Attach to a woman turning a corner
Turning her hips
To the rhythm of the clock tower
Her fur coat disappears as she exits the mist
Making her smaller to johns
Two johns uncross their legs
From across the street
Down the block one crutches
Into the safety of a crosswalk
With pocket hands shifting
Controlling pendulum legs
She stops at a corner
Pulls cigarettes from purse
Streetlights scream at her
She quiets the corner
By taking him down the boulevard

The johns on the benches count their pigeons
And wait with their hands in their pockets


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