The Sadness of the Day Like a Thick Water

Against better judgment
you drag yourself out
into whatever’s left of the world,

only to find it hijacked
by the practical and sane,
who hold it hostage
for a ransom you’ll
never afford.

You move through the sadness
of the day like a thick water,
lost in train stations
and the lonely crowds of Union Square.

The skinny legs of  an awkward girl
bring you to tears

as you look from face to face
for some kind of answer,
and one by one they fold
into silence.

You find a place, clean and well-lighted,
that serves wine and has a seat
by a window looking out upon the song
of what’s become of us.

You gaze out into it,
imagining a time
when it wasn’t a sin
for a man
to spend his whole life
learning how to sing.


William Taylor Jr. lives and writes in the Tenderloin neighborhood of San Francisco. His work has been published widely in journals across the globe, including The New York Quarterly, The Chiron Review, and Catamaran Literary Reader. He is the author of numerous books of poetry, and a collection of short fiction. He is a Pushcart Prize nominee and was a recipient of the 2013 Kathy Acker Award. To Break the Heart of the Sun, a new collection of poetry, is now available Words Dance Publications.