my meeting got bumped so I walked around Grand Avenue for a while

it was that part of town
everyone likes
with hotshot bars 
and fancy cafes

I walked around
the stores with the names
no one can pronounce
with the gorgeous brick and glass
framing the fronts
(overflowing dumpsters
hidden in back)

people going in and coming out
a girl on a date laughs 
much too hard at his joke
a mom acts real mad 
at her obstinate child
a dude in a suit pretends 
he’s not broke

the sun shines bright
off the traffic cars 
up and down the street
which look like a river 
of jewels deep 
in a puddle of light
and I walked around
in this counterfeit realm
where everything’s housed
in a decorative shell

I walked around 
where nothing is 
what it seems 
and ev’rything’s
layered in fake
even the sky 
is not really blue
and a muffin is just
a small piece of cake
and that bridge isn’t held
up in the air by that rope
and these lifeboats are here
just for looks
and clouds are just mountains 
that float

and I walked around
peeling the shells 
from the world
fixing my gaze
clenching my teeth
trying to give air
to whatever it is 
that suffers 
beneath
___

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