City In Which I Love
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24 City In Which I Love after Li-Young Lee Spring Street 6 When the last bomb dog snarls and sniffs when he nicks your black sack and you fail to grasp the hidden weight of such random acts, let this be a sign: the last branch has fallen from the root-sprout. Embrace the tamed beast as your long lost brother. Crawl in his gut and sleep like the child who sucks through the night on his own broken thumb. 4th Floor Walk-Up His desire’s dying in the November half-light of their Harlem apartment. Hers is the blade of a rusted scissor. When it snows over slate she ghosts over scenery, slips through their kitchen without touching a thing, dreams herself forms to inhabit then smashes their six free teacups, a thousand dull knives, a TV signal that comes to them sometimes. Although they fight, his body still turns to hers in the night: two shells clicking on a frameless mattress, four arms missing the reckless sea. 25 East 3rd Summer comes, my sister visits, and a corner bar kicks us to the hard-knocked curb. We’re two bright beasts wrapped around each other’s necks like head-locked monkeys in a broken crib. East Third Street jingles with bent plants descending from brick-backed lattice and black-eyed railings: they take hits from stubbed cigarettes at four a.m. Her spine in the night curls the bed sheets like a question. She’s come to get even. I see that this city can summon her demons: the liquor and tinsel and smoke-dust around her make a home for the war she wages within. Chambers Somewhere in the ache, in the hungry beginning you moved here to cash in your fittest hand. But the city folded. So hot to turn a profit it ate itself gladly. Soon two searchlights soared: they scraped over heaven. They roughed up the witness for hints of a language. They burned through the ice film coating tree-lined streets. Soot-filled water oozed through sidewalk. The first warm breeze came coasting down the Hudson. Each promise you made from Second to Lex or Carmine to Houston showed new strength: Yes, this—our life. Now we carry the days as if they were chosen. ...


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