A Casual Stroll Down St. Marks

We passed Bull McCabe’s bar, an Irish pub
strangely out of place on a street lined
with Japanese trinkets, Japanese franchises hoping
for a taste of the American dream, Kenka
with its giant, bowing beaver statue, eyes glowing
red with envy at parent-sponsored NYU students,
and a make-your-own cotton candy machine.
We walked past Pinkberry, soliciting
creamy cold to a world full of melting souls,
past the nameless stands peddling
ornamental wrist metal and glass pipes blown
into smooth, cold, phallic paraphernalia.
Effigies of psychedelic mushrooms stared at us
through windows, crosses, chains and a store
that boasted signs – we grind our own beef!
above a large wooden cow statue.
What better way to remind ourselves
that we live in a civilized world?
We passed a scowling Pomeranian
of the shrunken variety, off whose collar
dangled a disproportionate golden skull,
anchoring it atop clear shelving
like a docked ship at harbor.
We passed The Sock Man and a guy
selling rip off printed dresses
We stopped to buy overpriced
lemon Italian ices and crossed the street,
while hot hands and yellow sky
melted the cool white icy lumps
into something else, something
syrupy and sickeningly sweet.

Patty Scull