Monday, September 27, 2010

Not Quite Right

It was casual,
a side of macaroni,
an orange wedge.

We did not
plan it like a
or an Angolan expedition.

There is no fall-out,
no breakdowns,
no failedattemptsto

We were already

But I counted on you,
and when I needed you,
you werenotthere.

there was only wind
and wake
and stars
and cummings’s
cornerless sky.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

New York, 1910

The view from this old Dutch port
is not the postcard I will send to my mother
or the glossy photo from my 8th grade history textbook.

The warm New York sun reflects off the bay
and a light fog leaves only a dark silhoutte before me.

It is a woman, arm raised, looking
out on the open waters.

I imagine that without telephoto lens of perscription eyewear
this is what she must have looked like to my great-grandparents
as they rocked like driftwood towards her narrow feet.

Some hovering giantess with glowing torch,
her stern face unreadable.

My great-grandparents standing in many layers,
their silver and good jewelry tucked in waistbands.

This shadowy shape must have been the
first thing they remembered,
their knuckles white around heavy black luggage handles,

coughing up yesses,
thank you's, and pleases
from dry Polish throats.

New York, 2010

The city is fianlly asleep,
its sinners and street
vendors tucked away,
its prostitutes and priests
both in their small apartments.
Little swarms of street lights
are the only things that still buzz.

And I, of course, still
scribbling away in this
make-shift memoir
am full of awake.

But soon, I will
pumpkin too and wake up
hours later, inches into the sun,
dancing with the day and all
its carnival citizens.

But for now, I open the bedroom window
and reach out a hand into the heavy night.

I grip it like bolts
of dark wool
and pull it around my naked body.

I spin until I
am wild with it.

I sink to the light oak
floor, pull my knees up
and rock myself to this
metropolitain metronome.