Preliminary Sketches: Philadelphia
"I saw a friend from growing up who's been
by Elizabeth Alexander
living in L.A. for about twenty years, and I
heard him say, ‘I'm from L.A.,' and I said,
‘No, man, you from Philly. We don't give
Fish-man comes with trout and fresh crabs:
"Live! They live crabs! They live crabs!"
Bars called "Watutsi." "Pony-Tail."
A dark green suit, a banded hat.
The gentleman buys pig's feet and
papaya juice. He looks like church.
Another man, down Spruce Street, says,
"Yeah, California's beautiful,
but I ain't got no people there,
so I came back. I raised a racehorse.
Trainer says he's mean, but I say
naw, naw. That horse just alive."
Which way to walk down these tree streets
and find home cooking, boundless love?
Double-dutching on front porches,
men in sleeveless undershirts.
I'm listening for the Philly sound—
Brother brother brotherly love.