Friday, December 11, 2009

The Blue Hour

Sometimes it happens here
in Manhattan late in the afternoon
as a helicopter or a seagull
crosses the sky and I remember
my grandparents’ town when
the late hour was an invitation
to the bats to enter our house
like a dark invasion of tiny spaceships.

I saw that light caressing
the bricks of the building
on the other side of my window,
and I got up from the bed
where you and I lay
and I touched
January’s frost on the glass.
You asked
me for the time as if I—
like my grandfather—
had the talent to read the heavens.

It was the blue hour
in Manhattan, we were in love
and I wanted it to prolong it
so I could live in it always.

Weeks later,
on a snowy morning
I walked with you to the avenue
helping to carry your luggage.
As we waited for a taxi
—you were returning
to your city of bridges and warm stars—
I felt how irrevocable the moment was,
your eyes avoided mine. You
climbed into the cab and while
I looked in the direction in which
you were disappearing, perhaps forever,
you did not turn around
as a final punctuation mark.
At the corner nearest my house
I tripped and almost crashed
against the sidewalk.
I felt an enormous weight
on my shoulders, as if I they were
propping a brownstone;
I felt the full weight
of my fifty years.

Published in Bloom Magazine, 2007