Blue Helium Sky

Read A Century Later in NYC

The afternoon was growing late
in the gap between the dime store satin 
of the ash-colored drapes
in the tenement room in Brooklyn.

A man there opened a book
to the white noon of the poet's meadow
before her family house
and read in the lengthening shadows.

He heard the bees buzz in her verse
under the blue helium sky at mid-day
and the divine harmonies
of orioles on their dazzling way.

All the long ago prism light
of her meadow poetry repeated
through the Ornette Coleman riffs
the traffic played out in the street.

He thought of her later, veiled
in her room, foreign to the communion
she once had with the singing
grass and air beyond her seclusion.

As his sepia hands turned
the pages exalting the twelve o'clock sun
the city twilight spilled
like cheap red wine between the curtains.

Closing the book, he listened
to the carousing in the street
and the el screeching like a hoot owl to
a stop at ten minuted intervals.

All the long ago prism light
of her meadow poetry repeated
through the Ornette Coleman riffs
the traffic played out in the street.


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