there I was on the bench with a contraption

by Roger Bernard Smith

you’ve heard this story a dozen times
her arms above her head
elbows at her side
a trick with her backside tucked into the box
on a stainless steel table measured for a smaller person
then some accomplice asked
are you comfortable
no but I can make you laugh about jesus in the endzone
I’m touchdown jesus
running a pick ’n roll along 66th st
woooshe past a new jersey fruit stand on second ave
near the 59th st bridge where the story seeps out
from the bench I hear birds on the pavement
pigeons and sparrows picking spilled grain
in the heart of the city you can no longer see