Listening to Louis Armstrong

Subway, heading home.
Issued from the earth and riding
into sun patches.

Willow branches droop down
from the grey banks of the tracks
over the noisome streams of orange,
red, and white graffiti.

Passengers’ eyes scan passing walls
like sight readers searching furiously
for unintelligible melody.

Manage the circuitous route, 
its daily labors at each end.
Quiet the rumbling, press play.

Louis’ trumpet climbs to mind above
the noxious friction of tracks and brakes.
Like a familiar code, brass sunlight taps 
between the gaps in the high towers.

His mumbles stumble forth
one after another
swaying like wet sweaters, dresses, and tux
tails on clothes drying lines
mingling with the winds.

Flowers I can’t name stretch
over the lip of a windowsill
to stare into the swooning sun.

I will not sing,
but I am tempted.

I do not laugh,
but then I do.

Louis Armstrong mural by Odeith

Sean Lyon

Sean Lyon has stories published online at 'Bridge Eight' and 'Cleaver Magazine', as well as poems in print and online at 'Straylight', 'Literary Orphans', 'The Main Street Rag', 'Typishly', 'Washington Square Review', 'HOOT Review', and 'One Sentence Poems'. He lives in Brooklyn with Stan the cat.