Sheathed between steak houses
***in his shop under the Green Line,
the sharpener’s knife gave off sparks.
***His grindstone spun all day,
large as a roundtable, honing
***ham slicers, meat cleavers.
If it was powered by what made the trains
***screech overhead, their whistles
simulating a scalpel’s edge,
***it also seemed to spin because of forces
he knew how to fuse by himself; his fingers’
***grip on steel had just the right pressure.
He was no musician, but every blade
***whetted on his wheel
sounded like more than metal.
***It sounded like something forged
out of tuning forks & good fortune.
***While his knives sparkled,
the sharpener gave in to a dream
***of butcher blocks in chophouses
knocking out the serrated lines
***of an anthem called “Lake Street”
steeped in the water-sweet feel of long green.