the black swan wings of darkness,
cover city skies
with the ending of day.
Corners absorb sleepy air. Stones and
dirt lay quiet, undisturbed.
Sidewalks breathe without feet.
A taxi idles at the curb, the driver
with eyes closed, a paper coffee cup,
grinds out the minutes
Voices from the second floor,
behind curtains, yellowed from rain,
splash out shadows of arms and heads,
walking, turning, speaking with
A light rouge breeze lifts the edges
of collars and hair without hats.
Doors lock. Villains and victims
The sea of night spreads its tide.
Brown circles with peeling paint
mark the ceiling in the studio where cords
and wires drip like warm frosting
against paint spattered walls.
Frames gather in stoic square herds,
some ornate while others are dull;
Excuses waiting for brilliance.
Two overhead fans force down the unused air
from a stagnant heaven onto
canvases draped over easels and drawings,
covering the unknown of colors and figures
and landscapes without trees and mountains
gazing onto nothing.
The canvases are the skin of the studio,
the wrapping paper of birthdays, the surprises
of hope yet revealed.
Roger Singer began writing poetry when he was in the military many years ago. He resides in New York.