Day – by Paul Ilechko

It had been a bad day   whatever that means
to you   but now the sky was opening up
and behind the clouds was a sudden flash
of brilliance that held its place above the horizon

for those last few moments leading up
to sunset   it was almost enough to make you
believe that life was still worth living   we
walked down a city block where artists had

claimed the open brick walls as canvases
and the brightness of their paint was reflected
from the puddles left by the earlier rain   we
passed the stores that sold all kinds of craftwork

from ceramics to basketry   feeling suddenly
insecure among these tempting feelers for
gentrification   here among the ruins of
the invisible lives   those that flower briefly

in their youth before rapidly declining under
the double load of poverty and work   but don’t
presume that they ever lose the capacity for desire
or wonder   or the mystical urgency of love.

Poet and songwriter Paul Ilechko lives with his partner in Lambertville, NJ. He is the author of several chapbooks. His work has appeared in a variety of journals, including The Night Heron Barks, Feral Journal, Iron Horse Literary Review, Gargoyle Magazine, and Book of Matches. His first album, Meeting Points, was released in 2021.