again a smiled silent moment
         came out bright. Mercury too, swinging
         around, jumped to his feet.
         Friends came falling from the trees,
         drunken friends falling down
         like rocks or ripe apples—
         the stars are coming to earth!
         Friends descended stairs to the curb.
         They snapped into place amidst
         the traffic—the rental cars, the small
         boats, the subway trains and airplanes
         —amidst philosophies and truths
         and the horizon burning—amidst
         billboards, rainbows and internal pressures—
         to become the family
         all around me. This company
         of others arrived in parts, smacking
         down around me, holding fast, and
         holding out its arms.

         I am standing still when this new
         world comes suddenly heaving up its breath.
         Motion comes forcefully, with
         an intention to flail and holler, and
         at once everyone is moving again.
         Night falls like a sunset, acres
         rich and real. The East Village
         street has a hundred lost
         friends singing out like world travelers.
         Airplanes move like a song’s
         refrain, a verse circling around
         before touchdown. Lifetimes
         pile up on the street, wooden and
         plastic people—these many voices
         cued and blocked. I join up
         and shred my hems running
         with them. I am reborn a whole
         world, tick-tocking toward
         the curtains.
         Here, hold this.

         Leaving ground, the paling shallow sky
         parted to give me pass.
         First I noticed foliage, then I hung
         over the low moons of street lamps.
         I watched from above
         as I grew. We were all children once, then
         all our same romances were lost—
         those fireflies falling
         into fireworks. I thundered and flashed
         as I watched myself
         sit with a man and allow him
         to place his mouth against my own.
         Rocks pounded and rolled
         on the seabed, then I returned—
         this new world’s first poet.
         I walked down the street. The whole
         city was a rant, déjà vu sneaking
         through geography.
         Bombs fell
         through my heart.

         Disappearances count.
         The skyline recedes as I depart—eager
         to keep on to get going. If I am
         adventuresome now, does that matter?
         I write my own rise and will
         my fall. Years pass as
         I sleep. I shall lose houses, cities,
         and characters—love’s reenactment
         to be found on the highways.
         I tease myself with
         grids and walls and wind.
         Another friend beckons me
         to California. She waits
         on the plane, a muffler wrapped
         round her throat. But the echoes in me
         from long ago I cannot keep clear.
         So I remain on my other coast
         where I feel as small as sand.
         I am losing my pride—and again I remake
         myself from God’s mistake.

         <      >