The Drive in Summer

I miss those flies, I guess.
I miss the persistent stench;
the fruit stand on the Drive
where every theft was known
and all you did was shout;
where sharp shadows, in full sun,
flickered against the pavement;
where the road goes up in smoke,
at the top of the hill.

Beggars would really laugh
as they tried to pawn their books,
and the artists might as well have been,
for all that they produced.
But then, when it’s Summer on the Drive,
every hooker is a beauty queen,
sultans hawk their new CDs,
and all the trees seem cedars,
all the way from Lebanon.

Nobody cursed, not really anyways,
and the painting on the coffee shop
turned from ‘Winter here is shit!’
to ‘have you seen the sun today?’
I miss the smell of human piss,
when the air is sluggish, from the lane.
I miss the wadded cigarettes
that sidewalk cleaners must have missed.
I miss the Drive in Summer, and all that that entails.