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Top Five Men of the Cities

September 20, 2012

by Brad Fairchild

I

His tight nylon jacket
zipped to the neck, sheathing
the hues of his tautness
from the world—the
sandaled blond feet
and shaggy mane—
the only invitations to
join him at the gallery.

II

For soccer, he waits
with friends and beer,
straight from work,
the pub chair matching
pound for hard pound
the pressure of his weight,
clad in the perfect ratio
of dress-cloth gabardine
to bracing athletic flesh.

III

The glisten of his flushed skin
caught by the light
of the single, naked bulb,
his eyes as dark as
nothingness,
his lips trembling
with unintelligible
whispers, his native tongue
dangling as on a string.

IV

Towering tree of a boy,
apologizing in hard “R”
English—so
softly, gently—
for the lateness of
the food, and
secretly, the inaccessibility
of his heart.

V

His unwashed hair,
alluring beneath the woolen
workman’s cap, like
a revolutionary in tribute
to his forebears,
a ceramic doll in tribute
to the wretched
and unbathed
of the cities of the plain.


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Brad Fairchild is an artist and writer living in Atlanta who wants to point out the lonely beauty in broken things. He wants to pay tribute to these inanimate souls by rendering them into something new and accessible to others. He is descended from a pirate, and that is somehow fitting.

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