Wednesday, May 10, 2006

New York

This is subway
grey girders,
black shelving, deep
in the recesses
of human activity, living.

I crave subways, signs,
the lettering on the signs;
the silver speed
trains that pull in to stop,
the smoothness of their sides;
the bright lights that dazzle
and the blackness
up ahead.

I smell the people,
next to me, around me,
I can taste them.
They're upon me,
drinking from flasks
on their hips,
singing songs, jumping ship.

No one staring at the ground.
No more London.
They don't turn away.
Too many stories to tell,
too much silver light to inhale,
and every eye
is brimming with
salvation and sickness.

dance before me,
not a single victim.
No time for charity -
I see:
defiance, dignity,
ravaged faces.

This is real,
just like the buildings,
and the proximity of buildings,
they are aghast
with history
and bombarding.
Tombstones, wobbling in the air.

This city
is an open palm,
I want to lick it,
taste its salt,
finish its longing,
sail its streets
unwary of belonging.
I want to kiss its toes,
leave fingers touching.

Beautiful New York
in the afternoon,
Harlem below Morningside
like a slow, smoky rhythm.

We are up against each other,
city and I,
pushing shoulders,
leaning in our heads,
some moments touching.

Its pulse laces through
mine. We breath to shared time;
to the triumph of a second.

A girder is before me.
I reach and grab
black metal,
I pull myself up
with strong arms
and a giddy solar plexus.

I am swaying from
the scaffolding, my feet
are free and waving,

I am a dangled rope,
plating footsy with my companion,
waiting for a poet's
shock of hair
to appear
from the steps
of the subway station.

We are suspended,
created, momentarily dilated.
Wickedly free,
open, unimpeded.

The writer's life.
Call it masturbation,

I call it a lifeline.

No comments: