THE APOSTROPHE OF THE STATUE OF SAMUEL J. TILDEN
TO THE CHILDREN OF NEW YORK
Coral & pearls in the concrete at my feet,
on the shore of a crashing abstraction or poured in, to time.
Do you check your sneakers for the reside of selves?
One thread woven back and forth puts a plane on things, a shape.
Things pattern: cigarette butts in a crowd, spun glass,
anything, anything in motion feels a languid
equation of what it is like to be — you, a bat . . .
and while I am frozen, I feel in centuries
and the union of you and I feel in seconds
and this tree and I take minutes and the matter of my self
feels at least as fast as any thought.
In the evening the two couples break to their
respective volumes kiss or do not, become one organ
according to the distinguished council of All.
You are my devices of sight and nothing is unseen.
This world, you, I, am stacked as a scale, circlets of time
each about each and constantly inverting,
the stone falls and swallows its disturbance, the lake thinks,
the river thinks along its banks
and the man at the prow of the island
is fashioned as a man that gestures away:
folded blue barricades, the black and green of the signs,
and the blue of the sky, and the cyclists, the cab-and-bed,
the apparatus flung to us.