23rd Street

Andrew, you said Michael was coming
But Michelle came, you may have mixed
Their names up, Michael, Michelle,
But you definitely said
Michael was coming
But Michelle came, who looks nothing like Michael
She’s older for one thing, and is his mother
For another thing , so perhaps you confused
Who was who, although both are from
The same family and the same City
This city, with its orderly streets
And its sun catchments
And sewers that go on forever
Until they meet the sea, the wine dark sea
Familiar to Michelle
Who read classics in college,
But not to Michael,
Who is a fireman, her
Son, a fireman, a man
Who chases after flame the way
Greek seers did, even though you
Confused him with his mother and he was the one
Who never read them.

Nevin Schreiner