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.”