Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The view from outside the house

On the day of the sunset,
you sat on the roof of your house
watching the night lights of Shanghai
rising to a sob.
On early mornings in Ithaca, the deer calling,
call me to the window.
I meet the view from my house like a girl in love all over again.

In search of kites,
we walked down the boulevard,
and found none. Left
a square filled with the overwhelming presence
of unflown kites.
In search of the creek behind my house,
I step outside.
The trees gather to hold me in their presence.

In the view from my house, the wrestlers who live next door
are playing football with beercans again.
I wash my feet in the creek behind my house.
I live here now.
In the view from your house, there are fewer leaves.
There will be none when the days grow colder.
Then, perhaps, you,
meeting your city of black, wet snow,
will abandon the view
from a balcony overgrown with cigarette butts
to look out from other windows.

The Jester and The Queen

After we fucked,
he took out his tennis balls
and began to juggle.

His balls and tennis
balls, balls and tennis balls, spun
and shook like spinning tops

till I puked.
How dare you, he taunted

The next day, I left this poem
to sit like bread, quietly.
till it started to rise and breathe.

Months after I left
New York, I would rewrite, and write,
and write it again. Till in the poem,

I would be able to walk down
the staircase, undo the lock
and step

out into the outer air. The poem
would end like this: with a door

clicking shut, and then the song
of a woman singing with a voice like dusk.