Harrison And Beale

by Bill Edmondson

You’ve parked on the overpass
Must get down to Beale Street
Could take the long way around
But the unmarked mouth of a stairwell pulls
And as we ignore warnings of wind shear    a lover’s spouse
You drop in    helpless now as spider in porcelain

Steps here rigid    sharp    recede
The passage narrow and mean
Designed for a mugger’s privacy
You want to go straight down quick to the end
But slow to sidestep sops in urine pools
While around you
Graffiti – bramble claws
You pass a recess in the wall
Where he may be to    greet
You should have gone around

Beale Street leads to beaded
Drinks    delicious
Gasp from a lover’s mouth

On your return    sated
Twist through streets as you will
You’ll end up here
Above    your car patient and caring    waits
You steady your heartbeat
Start to climb