Across the Triborough Bridge at Midnight
Across the Triborough Bridge at midnight upper Manhattan
is the backside of some long dead dinosaur the natives might have
but for the possibility that back then the natives did not have names
but for the possibility that back then language was the central nervous
system on fire,
one grunt followed by heavy breathing to gain the attention of some
at the river washing her arms with eucalyptus before the rain and
on a particular season in which she felt her own skin
as a most smooth and delightful pleasure.
Across the Triborough Bridge at midnight
upper Manhattan sprinkles itself back in lights against a cool spring
filled with stars named Isis and Orisis
the way names get in the way, litter our language with allusion and
the way all these young poets drag themselves through an intention
I gotta sound smart.
No one is smart anymore.
There’s too much t.v. and too many books
with titles like The Future of
Nostalgia and The Purgatory
of Sin that yell run, man, run.
When my neighbor yelled shut the
fuck up out her window to the cat
moving in her bed of daffodils it was because she had an idea that
once, a long time back, back as far as dinosaurs go back,
she was a woman at the river washing her underarms with eucalyptus
before the rain.
Across the Triborough Bridge at midnight upper Manhattan is a
jack-knifed tractor trailer
with its hazard lights flashing orange and red
to let the rest of us know that something up ahead has given way
and for once we better take note and slow it down,
turn down our Jesus-on-speed and all-talk radio with the bass up to
and listen to ourselves listening to the world as it yields to us its
breath, its breast,
saying stop now, people,
stop all this yammering,
put your Parcheesi away,
your rolling pins and noise machines
and rest for a moment like wind chimes in wind
so the woman in her river, eucalyptus underarm,
can breathe in the slight and barely audible breath of a quiet rain.