In A Breath
To the Williamson Brothers
by Carl Sandburg
High noon. White sun flashes on the Michigan Avenue
asphalt. Drum of hoofs and whirr of motors.
Women trapsing along in flimsy clothes catching
play of sun-fire to their skin and eyes.
Inside the playhouse are movies from under the sea.
From the heat of pavements and the dust of sidewalks,
passers-by go in a breath to be witnesses of
large cool sponges, large cool fishes, large cool valleys
and ridges of coral spread silent in the soak of
the ocean floor thousands of years.
A naked swimmer dives. A knife in his right hand
shoots a streak at the throat of a shark. The tail
of the shark lashes. One swing would kill the swimmer. . .
Soon the knife goes into the soft under-
neck of the veering fish. . . Its mouthful of teeth,
each tooth a dagger itself, set row on row, glistens
when the shuddering, yawning cadaver is hauled up
by the brothers of the swimmer.
Outside in the street is the murmur and singing of life
in the sun--horses, motors, women trapsing along
in flimsy clothes, play of sun-fire in their blood.