The Schuylkill

myself included,
[don't] see you
imprisoned by a system
of bypasses patrolled
by unblinking cars;
perhaps when it's sultry
the insulated drivers
enjoy you like gelato
momentarily on the tongue,
but mostly you're viewed
as through bars of a cell
yet presenting no promise of escape,
shimmering like a wider surface
of bitumen within the confine.
Two years I've dwelled in this city
and wearing the common grey uniform
crossed the overpasses that recall
the young woman I observed in a Café
with jagged ink tattooed like barbed wire
around her arms. Do you feel similarly
caught in your skin? I attempt to perceive
beyond the punk mascara
but can't focus with the road blaring
like a stereo on the back of a trolley
while trying to think. I wonder
whether there are stretches upstream
where sky and gold leaves unfurl
in your eyes? We must decide
on a time and location to meet
in confidence free of surveillance;
behind the eyeshadow
you must be weeping.

by Luke Fischer