We all know it’s a flat country,
but far South-East Amsterdam
is so flat, low and expectant,
like a work table, I get curious.
You can see any movement
from a distance here. The people
are children, flitting in the corners.
One stares at me over his shoulder.
Herons loom over many tamed
waterways, one at each corner
of the caved-in river necks,
still water stitched between concrete.
I pass a basketball court, empty,
built on a water segment, swampy.
I step on the unmarked tarmac
and smell stagnancy. This place
lies at the edge of an old city,
houses and playgrounds aspired
to extend it. Now it’s
the crack of two flat surfaces.
A trampoline is alone; two towers
rise from the brick of the plain.
I make it past the city sign to a
concrete-walled lake and a gull
cry rings in the sunlight. A man
plays blues guitar and sings
hoarsely; I can’t tell what language.
I listen and feel that I’m elsewhere.