Monday, April 30, 2012


At night, the manifestos are rained on – heavy, icy rain –
but since they are adhered to the bridge with wallpaper paste
(thick as a fingernail) or scratched whole (a key, a gun, slow)
they never quite disintigrate. The river freezes, first
from the banks, moving towards the center, until it is covered
with patches, their edges raised like scars from brushing up
against each other.

Months later there are new manifestos and they point
towards spring: May Day, rite of workers, a day that calls
to mind a high school dance or college-student finals.
Running, the footpath becomes a mouth through which
I propel myself, from one island to the next, back again,
dodging strollers. Dodging birth, I guess.

Manhattan’s buildings the teeth of a bottom jaw
and just as grey. Morse code of the Freedom Tower’s
lights, fireflies echo offshore, begging to mate,
flicking like cell phones: which one began the signal,
and of the three, which is repeating it? A chain of
unending commands, power switched off by the sunrise.

A hurricane’s winds: the new fall.
Subway pumps pump out brackish water
as the Hudson moves in and out with the tide.
The moon pulls at the iron in my blood:
I grow heavy on the roof, watching the pink
bellies of airplanes streaking low into Laguardia.
It feels as though the world is a great dog
rolling under. How quickly the wounds heal!
Body of great craters, our Sisyphusan task
fills them with rubble, only for us to drown
in our complete sorrow.

- Robert Moses, Playboy

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