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
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 my heart.
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.