The shadow of the huge gray Armory (an empty arsenal)
looms over Shakespeare's Head and the faded garden.
Climbing into uniform, polishing their cannon,
a remnant of the veterans still ropes a tight circle –
once a year – around the old town. Arms and medallions
gleam in the dusky half-light; the ghost of drums
comes back, hale and hollow fifth columns;
the monument breathes a brigade of African
Americans, marching to 19th-century major chords.
Gospel music, sculpted clay. . . and Henry hunts the phantom
feline down dry garden paths. And Bluejay, lonesome,
bares one arm (hieroglyph – or sweetheart – without words).
2.24.98 Shrove Tuesday (Mardi Gras)
Benefit Street Arsenal (Shakespeare's Head in lower right corner)