Raga Ayyagari

Interludes at Union Station; Colony Collapse Disorder: Raga Ayyagari.

Interludes at Union Station

Bus stops at Union Station precisely
late at eight forty-six. Commuters in
gray suits march towards their meetings.
A concert greets us as we cross the street.

On Monday, an earnest guitarist writes
rhymes that make a rushed executive smile.

On Tuesday, two boys blast tunes on trombones,
bodies pulse to a boom box, bass and beats.

On Wednesday, a horn cracks high notes in
the national anthem, but keeps good time.

On Thursday, a man in army green belts
a ballad on his banjo on repeat.

On Friday, a pianist’s cool, smooth jazz
showers the stress off of sweltering streets.

Every morning, the music is the rest
from the relentless rhythm of routine.
Pigeons’ gray wings amplify my applause
as they soar, settling on silent statues.

Colony Collapse Disorder

The blind man’s cane, a third
leg, hybrid eye and tongue

tastes the concrete sidewalk.
Inching forward on tired wings,

the antenna’s steady rhythm lags
behind the accelerating stillness

of the neighborhood he once knew.
Buzz of rap and ranchero from portable

radios, laughter dancing on creaky
porches, voices raised in solace and song

silenced by the soulless whir of
construction, synthetic busyness.

Windows of fallen families slam shut
against the deserted drone of traffic.

School bus screeches to a halt, nurses zip
pouches of white bread and stale jelly.

All he can hear are kids’ untied shoes
racing toward ruthless metal doors.