- The View from the Bar
New York City, 1995
So much of the coin of youth was spent,while leaning here, with smoke and brew,
my back half-turned to face a viewbeyond this room's brief consequence.
So many nights washed up againstmy eyes in their impassive mask
and touched this quadrangle of glass,this lens where all the sediments
of moving traffic sink at lastto a surface whose impermanence
holds translucent evidenceof what has come, again, to pass.
Before me—this screen of calm abstraction,a frieze of captured light on glass.
Behind me—bodies, weight and mass,rehearsing lanes of interaction,
drinking their sloe gins and rums,picking daisies, snorting roses,
practicing Pompeian poses— [End Page 217] at least until the lava comes.
For when it comes, we'll all be frozen,some on the dance floor, some in the street,
one in his usual window seat,each in a pose he's not quite chosen. [End Page 218]
R. NEMO HILL's most recent books are When Men Bow Down (2012) and In No Man's Ear (2016), both published by Dos Madres Press.