The Northeast Corridor

Your knees akimbo

forehead on the porch rail

watching lightning storms

from your hill-top,

they clap and coalesce,

collapse,

the floorboards shudder.

You spent afternoons at the national zoo and

weekends hazed in cherry blossoms,

smiling on the capital steps

pausing for the motorcades,

the politicos and pundits.

You asked me yesterday if we could live in the

belle époque: top hats, Baudelaire,

World Fairs.

Would I shift centuries for you?

I'd do it for the letters, for the manuscripts

and inkpots,

to hold a feather in my hand

to let it tickle my chin.

But what I really want is Manhattan, 1965.

Bouffant girls with golden legs and

mohair sweaters. Mark Rothko on a Saturday

morning, chatting up the glitterati.

We are chained to two towns conjoined.

Raise a glass to the pasts we will never live.

In another city, I kissed you at the bus stop.

With your breath still clouding my cheek,

you turned away, sliding into place,

searching for an opening, for New York,

for another skyline and another time.