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MacArthur and Dana in DCMacArthur and Dana, D.C.

What is so interesting about asphalt?
I mean, you could crop out the bottom third
of this October intersection, losing little
other than drab grey, making room
for more deep blue autumn sky on top.
Why must we see these shops and signs
as poised on the banks of a wide river
of slightly rippled glossless paving?

If it's to show them as surviving
(like wildlife gathered around a waterhole)
from the flow of traffic, where
is the traffic? For whom are these lights red?

I see only one car aground
(having run Amoco?), door hanging open
like a broken wing, one man in a bright
red shirt emerging from that oily darkness
where service stations practice
their black arts.

Perhaps it is to tell us (by this
conspicuous brunt of empty grey)
that all the busyness of pink and white
and green-trimmed buildings, luminous blue shadows,
garish signs with their urgent intricate charades
of human speech, all this hum of life,
is entirely the busyness, the life
of light.

Dean Blehert

Last Updated: October 6, 2002

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