the city buses
are all dirty maestros,
blue tickets to heaven
creased at the corner

and paradise is nothing like we thought -
bohemian playgrounds where old men
scratch their beards and peer at the sky
as if benediction were staring back at them.

fellas, while you were
waiting for god to fall
your grandchildren
picked up the halos

and ran.

they have learned not to trip
over the cracks -
(mothers complain about
the high cost of acupuncture)

ladies stopped by the sudden wind
clutch at feathered hats
and bright sunday suits
and we know their brooches -

raised face of roman martyrs
with no names beyond the ones
given to them by hymnbooks

and the stoplight
is a prophecy.