Academic journal article The Virginia Quarterly Review

Stones (Excerpts)

Academic journal article The Virginia Quarterly Review

Stones (Excerpts)

Article excerpt

We speak of the cities we lived in

that went

into night like ships into the winter sea,

we speak of the cities that suddenly lost their ability to resist

in front of our

eyes, like a circus show where every acrobat

dies, and so does each laughing clown; enchanted,

you watch,

never turning away (and inconspicuously

on the circus set

you grow up).

Now we remember: janitors and the night-sellers of bread,

gray, like wrapping paper,

burglerers,

taxi drivers with klaxons instead of hearts,

children who grew up

among the old furniture

(furniture smelled of poplar trees and sea).

Our city of workers and ugly middle-men,

tearjerking market beggars

they cleared

the autumn fog

with their shouts.

We got to soak in the rain

with strangers

on tram stops,

old proletarian quirks, subway cars,

we got to soak in the rain

on cars

loaded with the unemployed

like shops with catrigies.

And now we speak of those who took away our cities,

our cities

dying off like house pets,

And now we speak of those who took

our keys

(the keys we used to open the doors of the hospitals,

and walk between light

and dark of the morning pharmacies)

where every morning

the sun

was being set aflame

with all the little pills and painkillers this earth. …

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