Saturday, October 16, 2010

145. Being in Manhattan

To the same degree that you can be
an approximate version of yourself,

through these articles of grace that
allow you to continue as you are

so deep into it all. And the taste of
sambuca on a wide enough tongue

to allow a little movement of the voice
over it. The slightest stirring of a light

and the world seems visible, though
you know it is only an illusion. We have

come to [enter name of place or state
of consciousness here] and found what

we had always believed we’d lost. One
whisper different and we’d never try

to believe it again, assuming our own
recollection of what it actually was.

The vanilla of the armagnac deepens
the tongue enough that I can hear

myself think these words. Yours
come forward as from a place distant

from this one but simultaneous as
thought that wakens then weakens

from the onslaught of sleeping. All
the positions of the glass on the bar

and the way the lights intersect
glass and liquid keep the mind

alert, and the eye doesn’t wander
so much as pounce. Awaiting a

change that is nothing more than
a number reached, you pause to rest

and wrest the sinew of a design to
move yourself forward into this

beautiful night. There is no weight
to the sidewalk, but the heaviness

of the air bears down on you, or
tries to, the way the black forever

always does, but this is a night for
celebration somewhere Midtown,

and even sitting is a kind of pursuit
when your eyes are working and

friends are near. The voice that
enters you never quite matches

the voice that leaves, yet they
twist around each other until

they seem like the same voice, as if
both had turned to song. Believe

in the motion of that voice and where
it takes you. Believe in the words you

make, and the words made for you.
This, you see, is a poem, and it lives.

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