MAN IN THE SQUARE

He opens a book like I do,
with a wary apprehension,
wanting wonder
but knowing that, like a blind date,
the first words will inevitably disappoint.

Undaunted, he flips the pages and I can’t tell
(the sunglasses obscure his eyes)
if he’s engrossed or merely falling asleep.

For this afternoon, with the breeze too lazy to rustle the potted plants,
the zinnias wilting like widows,
he is my book, slow to let his secrets unfold, turning
slightly away as if aware
no reveal should come too fast,
or maybe he’s simply bored or searching
the pavement for a sign
of life, a carpenter ant scrambling,
a gossamer dragonfly
he would call “majestic”
if we got as far as words.

And his do not
disappoint.

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Mark Evan Chimsky is an editorial consultant (markchimskyeditorial.com) who headed major publishing imprints and was the editor of a number of bestsellers, including Johnny Cash’s autobiography "Cash." He is a contributor to Huffington Post, The Good Men Project and Thrive Global. An award-winning poet, Mark has published poetry and essays in Bullets into Bells, JAMA (The Journal of the American Medical Association), Wild Violet, The Oakland Review, Three Rivers Poetry Journal and Mississippi Review. He is currently developing the musicals The Pledge and Swagger with composer Zev Burrows.

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