32nd Ave., Lachine & Beggar, Namur Station


32nd Ave., Lachine

Now night, and off the curving yellow arches,
the light, usually so harsh, glows dull in summer's haze.
Moths leave it alone, cavort with brighter street lights.
Cars move slowly, their noise softened.
Songs drift by – salsa, reggae – and quiet voices.
Even the motorcycles, summer's lords, are muffled.
Inside, under a strong white light, white women sit,
examine prospective customers. Outside,
a dusky terrace, where black kids lounge.
Across the street, people disappear down a dark lane
next to the used car lot: a scary little guy with two
giggling girls, a couple on a scooter, a man with a dog.
A fat old man wears a slender nasal lifeline with resignation.
Become a hybrid, battery and oxygen powered,
he parks his electric wheelchair near my car.
I turn the key to check the time and the headlights play
on the thighs, smooth and hairless, of a girl on rollerblades.
Passively she glides.
Her boyfriend on his bike smiles,
his arm around her waist, and tows her
back to their place.
It is a night (the critics will say) of lyric intensity.
Applause that we come out and take our marks and with our flesh
make the scene: that we are here, and here, there's ice cream.


Beggar, Namur Station

The women come down the stairs
like wet flowers
They watch their feet
their heads bent like dripping flowers
He sits near the bottom of the escalator
inhales the scent of moist flowers
As they come some raise their eyes
and their lips curve like soft flowers
And they notice he is blind
as a flower

Louise Carson is published in Event, Other Voices, FreeFall, Our Times, poetsagainstwar.ca, The Nashwaak Review, Cahoots, Jones Av., Poetry-Québec and, previously, in Montréal Serai.