The Hour of the Cockerel

Mike Good
| poetry


Which is to say dusk is approaching,

as Pablo from Thessaloniki and Paige from Fox Chapel

prepare to say their goodbyes. Pablo moving back to Cologne,

which is a Latin word for colony. Paige back to Shadyside,

which is a Pittsburgh word for nice place to live. Tonight,

they stand on a rooftop in East Liberty,

the roof appearing not far from collapse, and all

around the old redbrick apartment,

new lofts paneled with aluminum rise.

Shall we mourn for old Pittsburgh? For the belching

smokestacks, the cheap pierogis, the rust

taste of Iron City? When Primantis was a place to grab

drunkfood and on no blogger’s eat-before-you-die list? Pittsburgh:

the unlivable, the vacant, the uninspired waste. Shall we mourn

this sunset, with Pablo and Paige,

now shading the pale hotels atop North Oakland,

pouring crimson over the great green crown

of the Hill District? The sky is on fire. There is a certain light

in Pittsburgh that still causes me to salivate, a certain

blue that cuts inside the burning afternoon, that pulls one foot

in front of the other, a certain wonder

that lies in finding two strangers atop this old building,

drinking the evening. Maybe, they are in love, will find

each other across the Atlantic, or perhaps in understanding,

will part. Sometimes it is more than one should expect: this paradise,

gazing from a roof, watching, releasing the caps

of Coronas with the lip of an old steampipe, talking about Athens,

peregrines, and change. Endless change.

Mike Good lives in Pittsburgh and works as a grant writer. His recent poetry and book reviews have appeared in or are forthcoming at Sugar House Review, Tupelo Quarterly, The Georgia Review, Forklift, Ohio, and elsewhere. He holds an MFA from Hollins University.

Self-portrait as Bower Bird
Herb Garden