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Where Wall Street Wanders

when i show up
on wall street the
bankers are gone
to connecticut
or long island
or upstate
or in their nice
apartments uptown or
chasing women around
the financial district
with chainsaws like
patrick bateman in
american psycho.

pacing on the sculpted
slab benches outside
the stock exchange, i
watched a janitor step
outside for a smoke but
he never lit that cigarette
instead,
he threw the box in the
dumpster and stamped out
an unburnt cigarette butt;
still as a broom, staring
at his vice for a few minutes
then acknowledging the sky
above and the setting before
him and went back inside.

i know we both
thought about the stock
exchange and how it, too
is a vice of men richer than
us, legal gambling, handling
securities like candy in
a lunchroom, driving the price
of pop rocks and snickers
bars to bubble-bursting
prices, those men
have existential crises, too
but in nicer apartments with
imported art and girlfriends
but they should try having
an epiphany in an alley
next to a dumpster, pacing
on benches next to the
statue of the girl and
her dog, down here where
there is no such thing
as irrational exuberance.


Published on 2020-07-30.

Tagged: poems