the streets of toronto
worn, bullied, catastrophic
always a memory
the place you threw pizza
on the ground
wishing it was me
the place where we recited
endless reams of poetry
the place where i worked
until the BIG LIE took hold
the place where they’ve now dug
and burrowed and holed
every street narrowed, bulwarked,
flagged, coned, piloned,
pocked, scarred and scattered–
streets that scream “go home!”
“you’re not wanted!”
unless you’re a tourist and then
“please ignore the mess,
and come spend your money anyway”
we are swerving to miss
the jaywalking grandmother
the carefree 30-something couple dragging
a child’s blanket like some comic book character
that guy on the corner with the microphone singing you can’t believe he’s still here after two years,
the man on one wheel,
the scooters on the gardiner,
the shooters in the school.