Coney Island

you and your brother looked death in its

carnival face and broken teeth and galaxy

whorl of colored lights and somewhere off

where dark gathered the ocean hushed its

way toward eating the land-

children are the first radicals.

later in brickwork tradition, vined facades

and the ancient iron wrought gates you

caught those summer nights ghosting by

old battles and old ideas. we have always been

at war with somebody

except since those firecracker nights

most of the fighting has been unconscious,

repeated patterns of yesterday and yesterday

while morning in america shut down the midway,

boarded up those adventures and left the sea

unheeded, eating the land

until it is gone, dripping through

your shaking hands.