Love and Time




For Suzanne


who’d have guessed

when we watched


that first red dawn

come over the rooftops


of the tenements

together, first night


talking all night, hands

touching & caressing &


bodies warm & softly

moving together,


that years later

I’d be lying here


admiring the curve of

your breasts & back,


the pleasure of your

greying hair, & thrill


still to your hands

touching my shoulders &


caressing my breasts.

O let’s be


famous lovers

immortal long after


flesh returns

to earth at last,


Love’s example

for those to come.




Labor Day


all our jams are up,

& our watermelons, tomatoes, cukes & peaches.

cruising past these fields of corn,

their tassles shining in the sundown,

already I’m dreaming of Thanksgiving.

in fall I can’t help but think of death,

what a dear color it is:

already here & there the maples turn;

here is a funeral cortege, holding up traffic,

the women covering their faces,

heads bent, the men solemn, staring straight ahead.

a whole life passes before me,

someone I never knew:

the sun shines over the hearse, thru the windows,

onto their laps where their hands are folded.


home, sitting on the porch with you,

these sweet short moments

talking & looking over our marigolds

never come often enough.

yet together our lives are kind; we get by,

savoring this time

as the gardener puts his yard in order.

everywhere I look, people are whistling, busy:

now’s the time to read Whitman again. 




Finally Naked


            & moving

together panting at

each other’s lips, their

tongues touched


                        & hands

pressed hips & thighs


where the moistened lips now

swelled around the hot



hard rod

& she rolled him over & forced

herself down

            on him, forced

the rod up & in &


she rocked & rocked

on him & he pulled her


her swollen nipples at

his lips, 

his hands now rolling her

hips in a wild rhythm

as they


            gasped & plunged

& gasped & plunged




the head suddenly

            swelling within her, she

crying out—


white light

splashing across their

now motionless bodies—

curve of her back

                        melding into

            curve of his breast,

his small nipple hard, exposed—


she now

            sitting up, he brushing

her hair back, his

finger running across her

            half-open lip—


calm night, still night,


            where the lovers lie,

night with dew on the petals,

night where the rose bends,


fragrant night whose trees now

bear one

            solitary singer,

one nightengale

singing in the clear white light

& shadow

of the still leaves in the garden.






the doctor says to go in after midnight.

we drink coffee & mark time, eating oranges.

thru the Emergency door,

she waves as they wheel her around the corner.

soon we’ll be together

passing the long night.

when I arrive, they’ve given her ice chips.

the pain’s more intense.

we breathe together, but it does no good;

by morning, I’m exhausted, she wants drugs,

holding back the screams.  her cervix won’t dilate.

I can’t calm her.

now they want X rays.

I’m shaking, draining off coffee,

staring out the window at the expressway,

rush hour.

watching a nurse change diapers in the nursery,

I keep dreaming about birth & death,

how close they are, doors into new worlds.

now they say they’ll do a caesarian;

we’re cut off completely.

how long can this go on?

the nurses change shifts.

a birth is announced, the father’s beaming;

the rest go on trying to read magazines we can’t read,

fidgeting, staring out the window.

finally they call me:

I walk down the halls listening to my steps echo

& there they are,

Suzy, incredible smile,

& that bundle with blue eyes at her side.




The Field


October, shotguns blast the air

all thru the valleys;

the sun bursts thru cloud

lighting the browned grass before me

as I’m wandering thru this field

choosing flowers for your bouquet.




Half Moon


blood in the toilet

& cramps like labor, tissue

settling to the bottom of the water: 

outside, the moon’s cut in half,

frigid in the mist.  man & wife,

they cry softly together,

& look into each other’s eyes.




Sky Spread Out with Stars


unborn child kicks her, kicks her,

& I awaken to her groans & calm her,

walk out into the cold January night

to see the sky spread out with stars, remember

            youthful shouts

echoed across the vast wilderness

now echoing back in the inner ear:

as childhood friends died in war

far away,

I walked the old paths, obsessed,

hearing my bones talk as joints moved,

first time I knew the myrmidon within

& felt my eyes revolving in my skull—


she’d visit the village in Belgium

where her father was shot, Battle of the Bulge,

wondering if walking where he walked

could ever piece him together again

for her,

who knew him mainly thru stories

told by elder relatives

& by the purple heart handed at last

                        to her, the eldest child—

would she have known heart & desire differently

with a father at home,



I go back to my bed where

this mystery haunts me still:

thousands of babes descend into this vale

nightly landing in mothers’ arms,

old man & woman pass peacefully in sleep,

feet first floating up to stars—

waves of disease, accidents, wars pass,

grinning medieval reaper waits—

hordes hack & stab each others’ hearts

            for all eternity—

sun & moon shine down

on this tiny spinning planet,

            vast histories

crumbling at last to dust

where oak or cypress rise thru broken tower or

cracked library floor,

dead voices echoing yet as babes

            in the hollow chamber

            of the attentive ear—




Jane Marie


under my hand,

moist forehead—

Sue looks up—


the doctors cut

thru flesh wall,

fat layer—


still deeper—

their gloves redden

with her blood—


she is purely

calm, her calm

becoming mine


& now the doctor’s

hand enters her



the aide pushes,


a blue head appears


wrinkled, angrily

drawing breath—

a howl


as the whole

blue body appears,

cut & clamp,


weigh & check

& suck out nostrils,

hand her to


the father, me,

who sits amazed

as blue flesh turns


slowly pink,

Sue’s hand reaching

to touch.




The Hard Truth


she’s angry with me,

I’ve been thoughtless,

angry with me,

I’ve been thoughtless,

angry with me,

I’ve been thoughtless. 

not roses sent, nor work done,

nor breakfast in bed

will calm her. 

she wants me—

to sit on her bed,

talk whatever comes to mind

& listen as well as talk,

listen as well as talk. 

pride, subdued—

that sense of efficiency, that

order that drives a man mad,

put back in its place—

that kind heart

I’d show anyone

shown to her, too,

my most beloved.




The Lights of St. Ignace


heavy slapping rain over their heads—

windshriek thru the cedars along the shore,

whitecaps row on row, thundering against the beach,

visible even in the dark:

she lay on her back, looking up

as the tent poles bent farther & farther down,

each gust slamming the canvas closer to the ground

as he fought his way from corner to corner outside,

pushing the stakes back in place, adjusting guy lines,

the wind whipping his coat loose around his waist.

far out, the searchlight on the island

lit the clouds in its turning circle,

& to the right, across the long bay,

the lights of St. Ignace shone peaceful as a quiet day.     






Anne at fourteen:

            yellow & peach

roses, daisies, lavenders,


one by one in a slender vase.


rush hour, fumes over the fence:

how many die today,

how many tomorrow?

            car crash here,

government goon fusillade there,

slow strangling

by hydrocarbons or

plutonium dust?

a hopeful dream—

peaceful passing in one’s bed,

lilacs at the door.


the vase is full,

the last daisy now in place,

& Anne dances

alone in the kitchen,

            her darkened form

pirouetting with

her invisible partner,

graceful in her abandon.







today, overcast but promising


springy step

on the green earth:


     open the door.

     your time is now.


the passage isn’t simple

but for those who will



                             what your father

& mother suffered,

what you suffered,

                                    is past.


no promises!  wake!

                                    the heart

has a proper place.

if you’d be clear,          

                             be calm.

child, young man,

hard laborer,                 

                        sage, old fool,


make it what you will.

will to make it well.


your hands,

for tender touch.

                             your ear & eye,

for compassion,

will see & hear

                             what’s needed:


freely bend your will.




Two Lost Dreams


watching another’s agony

I remember my own—


nights when I’m alone

with moon & passing clouds


the dreamed faces appear,

those two we lost, growing up—


I see them racing thru fields,

staring out school windows,


rapt in love, struggling

with worklife & disappointments—


as we, in separate minds & ways,

still mourn, bearing those


hollow spaces within, far beyond

daily pleasures & sorrows:


so in moonlight I come to you &

say nothing, search your eyes,


our living babes asleep,

dreaming, one room away.




Coming Home


lost again in the twilight garden among

fading flowers & the season’s last crickets,

I wander among mothers’ tears & old men’s sighs,


the last forlorn embraces of lovers, boys

torn from tender arms & loaded onto trucks

as brass bands blare over camouflaged brims


hiding downcast eyes.  tonight, hundreds of

thousands bed down in the desert & hear

their hearts for the first time—cry softly


in the deep night as the moon rises.  I pass

thru the now silent garden remembering others,

& see the speeches & the firepower arrayed


& the orators on all sides crying right

kingdoms rise & fall & threats become histories

& the agony of thousands fills the wink of an eye.


I turn at last & come home where Sue waits

in the doorway, taking my hand & looking me

eye to eye, the moon risen, full, beyond. 




Catching Nothing


thru the tentflap, with Anne,

            half-asleep, distant rumbling

                        thunder coming on fast—


last night

I wandered in circles staring up—

stars thru dark branches,

owls calling

valley to valley—


I dreamed of you, waking after

            102 years of dreaming

                        enclosed in flesh,

            gone the dark way now—

visions of puritanical

            ancestors passed, Wiltshire

                        to Delaware machinists,

the dinosaur bone collector,

efficient & ambitious,

            whose skull is now some

            professor’s paperweight—

& my grandpa, wandering


thru his fruit trees—


the thunder’s closer now, now

torrents of watch crash thru

            dark branches;

the rain’s steady, flood heavy—

rivers spring up in pathways to camp—

thunder hammers

the earth, which

trembles, shakes beneath us!

lightning arcs

            thru camp past the tent, again!


we speak in high voices to be heard—

what branches above us might shatter,

crashing thru our skulls to earth?

            we lean to the open flap to know

            the splendor of the torrent.


            in dreams my father

sails out of a starry night

past rocks

& wrecks where

bones are washed & sink in sand—

            along Marquette’s

last route to Illinois, who

            died bringing words

to confuse natives who knew

            well enough the spirits

that speak for earth & water.


my father ages at the wheel—

hands grow gnarled, winds cut

great lines

in his face, yet

his eyes flash as he closes

            on the dawn,

his genoa full of wind as he

            plunges thru heavy seas—

later, becalmed, he sings

            an incantation for the

beckoning dead

that he might move calmly toward their rest.


            the morning after

            is calm, cloudy—

fishermen wade in the swollen river,

            casting & casting &

            catching nothing.


            the silent heron

    is still.


move out across the open plain toward

the lake, where they lower their heads

            & lap the still water,

ears alert

in this intense silence—



our hearts beat like

hammers now, sending out waves of sound

            over & over—

the breath

is a wind that

stirs up all the world.




The Lovers Sleep


all winter, the wind carries loam aloft from the stripped land;

the lovers sink further into sleep, the moon rises over

frozen furrows & lines of lights race across the vast prairie

where no man sings alone by his dying fire among constellations.

when stars fall, the caged shaman sings, his guards hearing only

silence.  the millennium approaches in a raging human flood,

the swarming intellect polluting its own skull, cradle of dreams

where fields might blossom to meadows in singing silence.

the unruly master bangs away in the chest, summoning

blood & obedient hands to turn the wheel on which a sparrow

hangs & sings; tomorrow the shriveled finger points within.

so the lovers sleep, locked together beyond their spinning songs

in a dream where light rises to light continually.




A Testament


below evening clouds racing beyond

the treeline’s soft red glow, winds bluster

in the olive tree, the candy lily’s furled bloom

shakes among balloon flowers & sea holly

we planted.  young, we couldn’t foresee

our love’s journey, dreamed what would be

& seeded our dreams which come again

& again to bloom.  I was no great lover,

breathing fire into every passing whim—

I was steady in my way, and you stood me,

stood by me despite what I was not.

I bring you armsful of blooms borne

of our dream—let these grey hairs attest

we have at times earned love’s rest.




The Lovers at Sunrise


                                    a cup of tea, sliced fruit—

a long gaze still swimming in moonlight

            fills the cool sharp light of an autumn dawn,

cherry trees full of blackbirds—

                        their eyes return

to each other, naked together:

                        the hands inter-

twine & they move slowly, turning

            together in the sunlit room.




The Rhododendron


for Suzy—“let’s be famous lovers”


sunlight thru an open door,

                        crimson blooms swelling to burst:

who can say

            what love is?  you take a friend

in hand & roar down blind road after blind road

wandering thru private rooms

            in each other’s hearts, sailing thru whole histories

of pain & rage to find a quiet morning,

dew on the laurel leaves.  love is not

in the eyes, in the heart, in the entryways

& hotspots of flesh, in heavy breathing—love cannot be

contained in soft arias

            whispered at dawn—it is neither two together

            nor apart:  the eye

is in the hand, the heart in the eye,

the song exhaled & inhaled

                        & suddenly your dreams fill rooms where others

pace & sing softly of what you were—

                        O love,

steady rain on the city of the dead,

            teardrop on a granite peak, clear day,

                        angel ghosts circling

            the flowering black oak in every long-gone summer

night full of thunder,

            sunlight thru an open door,

                        crimson blooms swelling to burst.




Night & Dawn in Paradise


all night at the open window

            I sat & dreamed as

                        winds raged in aspen tops,

            shook the larches,

hissing under the roar of breakers


on sand bars & breakwaters.

                                    she lay in the ark

& watched me dream

            & in half-light

we wandered out to watch the sun

            rise over Whitefish Bay,

                                    red disc

soaring into black cloud banks

            racing red-lined

across the white sky:

                                    & now

                        the cool rain sweeps

across the parched land,

            across our upturned faces—

leaves & branches,

            gulls & hawks

                        swept aloft in ripping winds.




all night


she lay thrashing—

cramped thighs,


her head in

waves of pain—


he had only

his hands, pressed


against her soft

flesh, caressing


forehead, eyelids,

behind her ears


massaging neck

& back & thighs—


little more than

brief diversion, yet


her soft whisper

drew him nearer—


no healing but

calm against


the worst of

her pain.






I see my parents still

            wailing in the living room Argentina Street,

a grey day, no wind

& out the window traffic flashing past—Aunt Fran’s

            husband & son Dutch, my older cousin who’d

filled his room with electronics, a genius at 13, killed,

accident in the Rockies,

& she in the hospital, her arm broken—my first

            memory of lives, faces swept away from my life—

later, when the sun broke thru,

wondering where we go—I was six—


& after that, Dutch’s oak furniture arrived,

            his bed to be my bed, his mirror where my face

would stare back, sigh & dream of love—

& Fran, recovered, circled the world alone, sent me

coins from England, Austria, Egypt, Japan,

            mysterious envelopes that arrived in the mail

worlds beyond my suburban sidewalks

& mystery gardens where I’d pause

before an open rose & lose a day in dreams—


later, her house burned & she escaped

            miraculously, settled & worked in Maryland

as my parents’ marriage cracked up,

grandpa died, I raged at fallen love & lost my heart

            until, lost child, I found myself in Sue

& found my father again & heard

            my long-lost grandma’s sighs,


                        Fran the oldest child who’d seen more

            & kept herself apart, learned to be alone—

& after the loss & the fire & years apart,

            met her Hale & danced in her 70s like

                        a teenager, a few years without pain—

a few years blooming in the fullness of her womanhood—


who guesses how much we can know even of those

nearest us, how others cope & sing above their suffering?

she’d refuse a funeral, would

            go home to lie with her Hale—

                        these last months

awaiting an end that now comes swiftly--& I, learning of it,

            sit with my sisters & my family, my 50th birthday

stilled with this quiet moment filled with her life,

flocks of birds wheeling in slow motion, hovering around

            the feeder in winter snow—




that she can


                                    no longer

speak to him, with him,


                        is difficult—

she would,

if she could, pull him in—a great fish,


                        gnarled, petulant,


a great beast—


but he resists,

taut against the line, unwilling


                                    or unable


to leave that rocky bottom, that


blue dream,

                        its broken


fallen anchors & snapped chains,


keels &

                        dead men’s bones



he would imagine)—


                        so that this, after

years of

tugging, is where


he lies, waiting


                        alone, uncowed,


persuaded despite


                        his ridiculous rages that


            love, being loved,

is more than dreamed ephemera,


                        a muddy bottom swallowing


lives whole,


                        a hope, horizonless


(one imagines

                        a further stage,

beyond this,

                        an awakening—





ER Saturday Night


            she staggered out of mass after delivering

scriptural readings, burning

            pains in her chest, face flushed—


now, he sat by her in the ER, silent years

            flashing by in a confusion of images, wedding

                        bells & tenement years & groping thru babes


                        & miscarriages & shitty jobs, her eyes

now questioning, she talking thru

                        her pain as the interns wander thru with


questions & questions, the machines above—

            green readouts, peaks & valleys charting breath,

                        pulse, life itself—clock relentless as an admitting


nurse’s keyboard, the drunk two sheets over

            howling at the attendants, “fuckin’ bastards, you

can’t do that to me, try it, you fuckers, try it—“


                        finally, she must stay the night—blood work,

            chemical readouts, studies to see whether it was

                        indeed a heart attack—& he is out, in the


cold night among the stars, helpless, looking back

            at windows where she must be looking down, her heart,

                        their lives, in the balance of relentless day & night. 





She makes her way



            she makes her

way down

                                                            stairs, lost

again in her own skull—


            lavender flowers swaying

slightly in the breeze—

                                                her lover

gone, gone, gone




what she'd dreamed in the dark, so many silent rooms


lost conversations

fingers touching for a brief

moment by candlelight.


              her gaze

turns to the stained-glass lily in the front window,


to the couch

                        where they'd first

declared their love and sang the delirious


            their hearts had borne in silence


                                                too long.





The Gateway




first night out:



            my heartbeat


outside my window, a truck roars into the lot,

driver leaping into the street,

a real “king of the road,”


            muddy boots,

four day beard—

thick fingers caress wrinkled brow.


he looks up into the dark sky & breathes



I close the drape—

too much sorrow to bear tonight.  it is good

to be alone,



I have no way, numb even to sorrow.





$39.99 a night

draped across the outer wall—

mad traffic hurtles past, endless lights, even at 3 a.m.

I have a corner room,

            far from the truckers

                        partying down the hall, away

            from the hollow-eyed woman

who posed near the ice machine,

            looking long as I passed,

                        her hand at her hip, a cowgirl indeed.


a shower is good,

standing naked before the mirror:

sagging breasts & belly, phallus curving to life at a touch—

flesh once tight, turning a young girl’s eye.


I am

a grey-haired elder,

distended phallus now aching for a plunging distant memory,

moonlight sighs echoed back from the inner ear.


looking out my window in deep night,

snow now howls across the sky, through the parking lot’s lights—

lines of taillights, breaklights all flash red at once.





I will not speak of her now,

nor of what led to this impasse.

I am become the beast wandering at the edge.


tonight, out my snowy window

electric grid of the city, boxlike transformers hum

endlessly, the roar of six-laned downtown expressway

muffled in the wind.


in this flophouse, I’ve found a quiet home for a time:

bed, light, TV, dead phone, yet also a moment

staring out into the storm,


flashing waves of snow blasting thru

crowns of Austrian pines lining the lot,

my car outlined beneath.





soup and salad at the mall, dinner with Anne:

a scrawny black man limps thru the dining suburbanites,

eyes bulging, saliva drooling from rotted teeth, arm twisted—


I recognize Billy, ghost now of a friend once ripped from

his own life by his wife’s crack habit.


now he is closer to the end, incoherent,

shunned by the smug diners.

I offer him my change


& ask of his life, yet he mumbles, “thenk-yuh, thenk-yuh,”

not recognizing me.  Anne asks for his story.


it is a good sign.





the white p.m. sky is lined with steel-grey near the horizon,

spreading upward.  wires hum outside my window:


by day there is a small field here, remnants of meadows & woods,

a few crooked crab apple trees, an oak, brush that could be

honeysuckle, stands of sumac—


the picture would be complete with a doe delicately placing its feet,

working its way to the horizon, stepping deliberately—

this fantasy a history, a glyph in stone.


I lie abed, my dream wandering to Sue, her silent movement

thru the empty rooms of the house, sitting, reading on the couch,

she too looking up into this strange sky, lost in sorrow,


perhaps moved by naked stems trembling beyond her grasp.

her solitude, like mine, must be complete.





the father, scarecrow in a Marlboro Man black stetson,

dumps suitcases into the back of the rusted Chevy wagon,

one taillight covered with red tape.


round as a turnip, the wife stows gear, herds the children

into the seats.


they have been here two days, yelling thru the walls,

children crying softly, moans of terror in the background.

I’ve heard bathwater running at midnight, Spanish lullabies.


I’ve seen the boy and girl wandering into the brush,

shouted back by the wife’s shrill voice rising

like steam in a shrieking kettle.


their car rattles to life, mufflerless,

its battered Texas plate crooked as they turn the corner,

the night coming, on the road at last.





near miss turnoff from freeway, sleet in heavy traffic,

horns screaming around us all:  shaken,

I head for my room thru the warren of the flophouse:


my neighbor, a black man with salt & pepper beard,

sits in underpants, door wide open, his bum leg

wrapped in knee brace,


workboots & soiled pants scattered across the room,

TV blaring.  seeing me pass, “hey brother!” he shouts,

brother!  welcome home!”





after workout:  his face is unremarkable, his voice

a chatter of platitudes & biblical quotes, yet

his penis hangs achingly low, its huge barrel


a lovely pink, swollen even limp, its head curving

thru its ellipse to the cupid’s bow where the lines,

lovely & delicate as the curves in a lily’s flower,


join.  others come & go, yet this his flower

is a work of art, worthy of lips & tongue, an icon

of tenderness for a heart aching & charged.





my therapist, a stately woman, observant eyes,

apologizes for jumping from question to question,

asks me to be patient as we dive into the pool

of my life.  her office is a quiet glen.


suddenly, I am a child, wandering naked

in the woods of my childhood:  Indian pipes,

mayflowers, the dark earth under leaf litter,

the shimmer of the canopy, hint of blue


beyond,where my canoe awaits, & there

the voyageur & Anishnabe of my dream,

the mirror where that child face looks back

without pain, without a thought, mad to go.





when she thought

the children were finally asleep,


she wept softly into her pillow

in the late-night silence.


the eldest boy lay

still in his bunk & listened,


her tears punctuating the soft

splashing along the riverbank,


the far off scream

of a rabbit dying, the screech owl’s cry.


above, the stars shone, a net

winking out over the long valley.





59th birthday:  tonight

            I must face the woman I love

                        & have loved, the woman


I have hurt.

            I must look into my son’s eyes

                        & pray they haven’t gone stone hard


in this long night,

            as mine once did.  how

                        long a journey one must make


to come at last

            to oneself, & see the patches

                        one makes of his life, those


he would never harm—

            crushed & in agony.  then,

                        too, my mother lies dying


& I have not seen her,

            nor visited.  she must lie abed

                        & now may not even recall the day.





what is this cool

            water, running over my ankles,

                        my toes sinking in sand?


I awake as from a dream.


it’s raining softly & rush hour has begun.

the drops hang, diamonds



beneath transformers, wires, along chainlink

topped with barbed wire,


& in apple branches which no longer bear fruit.


I am lonely, yet this is home.

what must it be to have a lover, one who

welcomes a touch,


whose skin trembles

as mine does in dreamed memory, when

skin brushes against skin, casually?


the grey evening comes on,

as deeply moving as any postcard dawn.

soon, I know, I will return home.


she & I will try again, hold hands,

& while the sighs remain, the love is true:

this will be a gateway, & I will pass thru.






if the path has led thru horrors & I awake to see my own face in the cracked mirror,

if I stumble out of my bed in darkness & am lost in the sliver of the shattered moon,


I see now to seek deeper love in she I almost lost, in the silence of shared years—she

who has sustained me thru all my deeper agonies & brought me up short, a nightmare


dreamer, wayward child in mancorpse thrashing with fear of betrayal & abandonment

borne like a poisoned blade thru childhood to middle age—she who took on this pain


& gave back the fruit of unicorn & millefleurs, the orchid’s delicate curved cup,

a tender hand for the foundling raven—& laid them all at my feet as gifts—she,


who bore three children & our two lost babes thru the long dream & struggle of birth,

whose groans brought speaking tongues & bright young eyes to my life & hers, she


who stood by me when another would’ve cast me adrift & called out “good riddance,”

she who took my hand & would not let go.  I rise today to sing her praises:  she


has borne deep memory of generations coming & going to the altar of our love,

given language to those who had none, tutored the broken child & raised her up—


skilled gardener training the vine she nurtured it to reveal the passion flower within

when none believed it would live again.  I come to sing her praises, she who is


neither a little flower nor rosa mundi but one who would rather sit alone with one

lost child & teach her to sing, him to heal his wounds.  grant, you with good hearts


who bear the weight of deep love, that such love as hers must bear us thru all

the sorrows we ourselves make, the wounds for which the spring’s balm flows.




Storm over Michigan Avenue, Midnight Market Dreams


unspoken sorrow of upturned faces, crowds on Michigan Avenue

scurrying, whispering their quick talk staving off the night—


torrents fall into the streets below, scattering the thousands

yet we too must descend into the thundering siren-filled streets,


lone sax blowing on the corner as richly dressed strangers press

thru the livried servers clustered under their canopy—


the heavy rains now passed, new loves & old reclaim sidewalks,

idle chatter lips & eyes necklace & silk tie seeking the next doorway—


we among them race into the midnight market ablaze in light,

shoppers meditating deliberately, turning slowly thru plums, berries,


Italian sodas, young stud crumbling cookies into organic ice cream—

we giggle like two young lovers wandering here picking fruit,


marveling over orchids—how did we come to this, two alone apart

from the family we raised, to find ourselves again & grope toward


a new gaze, holding hands?  lightning illumines skyscraper roofs &

screaming streets alike, O Love, as we head back to hotel room


& quiet dream, tears for the inevitable turning, the vast day ahead—

fold a bill for the sax player, his high strut signing Time’s slow move.