Consolidated Edison power plant in Manhattan (Hope Alexander, EPA)


for Mo

With the feel of your lip balm I walk through the light,
sharp distance of skyline, sun setting behind—

did we notice the foam from the Con Edison plant,
the waves licking salty East River riprap,
exertions of earthworms in cold sidewalk cracks
or chill hook lifted from the homeless man’s catch?

We walked through the sunlight, gloved hand in gloved hand,
our uneven gaits catching patterns sometimes,
our voices unraveling unbalanced lines
that blended or clashed as they waved through the air

impressioning softly the far skyline walls:
the water, the worms, the city become
a room resonant with confusion and us.
We love this world so; we pour into it.

The concrete below me sounds heavy with pounding—
the light of your light in the air lifts it all.

Published in the June 15, 2018 issue: View Contents

John Linstrom is series editor of the Liberty Hyde Bailey Library for Cornell University Press. His poems and nonfiction have recently appeared or are forthcoming in Atlanta Review, the New Criterion, the Antioch Review, and elsewhere.

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