The Northeast Corridor
Your knees akimbo
forehead on the porch rail
watching lightning storms
from your hill-top,
they clap and coalesce,
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,
Would I shift centuries for you?
I'd do it for the letters, for the manuscripts
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.