08 March 2016

Poem-A-Day #8 : I Have Been Writing This Poem For Ten Years

I Have Been Writing This Poem For Ten Years

The bus was white inside - blue seats -
          or orange -

                    The back seat is one long space
above the others by one step - there is a pleasure in this
a simplicity of space

                    Phones ring -
          this phone rings -


When I found out you were dead I was unaware how sick you were
I was sitting in the back row of a bus from one part of Brooklyn to another
I don't remember what song I was listening to - even if I was
But the day was diffused it was cloudy and indistinct other than the bus ride
The plan was to go to the Met - to stare at the history


In another museum - in England that's important -
          there is a painting -

                    Delaroche's The Execution of Lady Jane Grey
in it a young girl reaches tenderly for the block that will end her life
because she is falling -

                    A trip into
          severe presence -


At the Met there is an Egyptian temple fully rebuilt brick-by-brick
Worn until naked where else would a god reside than this sun lit Upper East Side room
I don't remember what I thought the first time I saw the displacement
But this time I noticed that the glass in the windows was stippled unsmooth
It moved the light around the room quietly and cooly


Your death - it was called fallish -
          the kind that just happens like it was always going to

                    Buses smell like burning vegetable oil
At the stoplight the old woman trips - an apple rolls
into the gutter - it is full of dust -

                    The phone rings -
          The voice on the other end is a block of wood

It is pulling forward

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