Nebraska 37: ‘Sidewalk NYC, 1954’ by Michael Catherwood

You never do find out what makes you tick, and after a while it’s unimportant.
― Norman Mailer

Norman Mailer is shadow boxing at the curb.
The curb is cornered, no place to duck
and Norm’s going in for the knockout. He works
the inside, pounding the mortar. He tucks

his chin tight like an owl, squares his shoulders
where the tar and the cement meet.
The light is falling, both traffic and sky. The smolder
of taverns and cafes begins to sing

in neon. The blurs in storefront windows glow
like ribbons. The curb lays back. Shadows fail
and Norman boxes in the evening’s dark scene.
Suddenly there are no curbs or sidewalks. Now

the stars glide and arc in their contrails
and Norman concedes to the quiet breeze.

© Michael Catherwood

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