Earth's Obedient Angels
by Jake Sheff
Jake Sheff is a physician in his intern year on Long Island. He is also a captain in the US Air Force. He plans on serving our country as a pediatric oncologist for the children of soldiers. Poetry has been a top source of artistic pleasure for him since meeting the modernists' work in college. An avid reader, he began writing his final year of medical school (with its abundance of free time) and has just recently begun sending out the work to journals he's read and continues to enjoy. A poem of his has been selected for publication by Pirene's Fountain, and he hopes that is just the beginning of a long, long career in writing.
Here is an old car frame, bone-white paint
with osteoclastic rust and specks of metastasis,
black in a blasted pattern. It's hollowed out, holey—
door- and windowless—a skull; some Eastern bloc
brand, imported to the third-world and terrorist states.
It's parked by a cracked sidewalk, slightly cratered,
and a brick building tattooed with splattered soot and ash.
The cobblestone road is dented, but hosed clean,
with the sheen from this morning's wash.
A shipping-truck rattles by, a scooter trails
its thick exhaust. The uprising began and ended
in one month last decade . A secretary, tall and skinny
in her blue uniform with shorn, kinky black hair,
was there, by the car and hurrying my direction
down the newly-paved walk in her high-heels,
tripping slightly but smiling.
Here is a factory building, over a century old. Classic
red brick with smooth cement ledges
showing no signs of wear. Red, white, blue
and black automobiles line the block, American,
Japanese or German made. One pulls out now, another
takes its place. Beneath the straight, bright streetlights
the sidewalk's level. Pedestrians in T-shirts
stand in the evening shadow, stare up at a dark window
to snap a picture. Others in their business-suits
or uniforms hurry by. One-hundred years ago
a Jewish working girl, 17, jumped from the 9th floor
inferno. Commemorating the event, the Sunday
TV program shows her portrait: dark curls pinned up,
slender neck from a lacy collar, small shoulders
in a dark blouse that fades into a taupe round border—
another photo for the apostate's locket.
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