Two Times across the Tappan Zee Bridge

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The first time was at dusk.  The Hudson River stretched

like an invitation in the gentlest glow, both banks’

forest green arms holding me, as I rose with the bridge.

And at the top, nightfall’s vision sang, and I held,

floated there, watching the city catch the river.

Her skyscrapers gathered and huddled and whispered

of the night to come, and began to switch on spots

of bright into the fading light.  And beside, tiny, immense

Liberty stood, knowing the city and flowing the river,

and lifted us all across the bridge.

 

When I returned, it was morning.  The light was harsher,

less forgiving.  The climb to the top of the bridge seemed

steeper, somehow, for us all.  And I saw signs, along

the railings, read them.  “Don’t give up. There is hope.

Call the hotline.”  Street signs. Bridge signs. Signs.

At the top: “Do not jump.”  On this, the North side, only

the river, the fall.  And the ghosts that had put all the signs

on the bridge.  I could still see them jumping.  And my car

would not float but wanted to stop and fling its doors

open for me.  But the sign said, “Do not jump.”

 

 

 

Conversations (with Sylvia)

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(wake up) not asleep, but reading,

(write) she sits the edge of my bed,

tilts her head, waits. silence. (think it

to know). Sylvia, i am tired.

(the write will you), but how,

(ask the sky). and she stays,

to feel, asking cry (I know). pulls

what i push down (inside rain),

closing windows on day (tumble words),

and in sleep of dark, my name, cloud

whisper, pen gripped unwritten (Sylvia),

fly, write us both home (again). 

 

 

Two Squares and a Circle

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What ghosts follow when you track

back so far?  Stone foundations,

full of your words, crumble and roll,

and the pine pieces, marked by knots

of pain and despair, age away in

forgetfulness.  Is this a blessing,

when the holes appear, let light and cold

pass, allow locked in grievances to leave?

Or does it all remain anyway, underneath

the rusted metal roof – the hurts

that can’t be released, circling around

the structure as time takes it down?

There’s still a place to let it go –

two squares and a circle.