north jersey at night


here the complicated frieze of lights

erupt as the sun chases down the bulk

of open space, but night is for birthing,

down the arterial highway run, thousands

and thousands of small brilliant lives

rushing pulled in by the center of all

light, riding over-water along the clustered

horizon span-

and the refineries burst open their small

moments, where industry is beautiful and

the ships nudge in from a thousand places,

saudi, brazilian, thai, the descriptors

of global commerce, here in a place

where anyone can feel small


but do not worry

do not worry here

there is time for

you space for you

when you hit the

turnpike running and

out your window a jet

from newark gears up

pushing against the

older constraints of earth

and sky and in happy

bursts of headlights and

exhaust, you are

racing the plane along

parallel courses, racing

until it lets go, draws in

its wheels and heads off

for everywhere.