Pronounced with an invisible

-h, the invisible -h forming

an invisible -she

in the middle of the word,

the sun is seemingly always

shining or fully not shining

on Passyunk; when it rains,

it pours. Walking south on 9th,

after you cross Washington,

the voices shift from the

punctuation of Little Italy

to bursts of Latin then at

last to, murmured, exiled

Oriental syllables, strained

so far from home; even the

poor chickens in the live

poultry store, watching big raindrops

stream down the doorway,

past the bars of their

cages, are subdued.


What, then, is a “block,” is

a neighborhood, is a stoop,

something none of my street’s

houses have anyhow, a

bodega, a restaurant a home

away from home, a guest room

with food, and strangers, what

is a bar but a collection

of strangers, strangers and alcohol

passing from hand to hand from bottle

shop to the golden retriever tethered

outside, he’s too big to come

inside, where the babies lie

against young mothers’ chests,

their fathers greeting each

other by stating, not asking,

how you doin’.