The Whispering Gallery

A weekly poem, read by the author.
April 26 2000 3:00 AM

The Whispering Gallery

She's turning away, about to step
out of the concave cuddle of Italian tiles
before walking through the grand
doorway to cross 42nd Street
to glance up at The Glory of Commerce
as she hails a yellow taxicab
when he whispers, I love you, Harriet.
Did he say something to himself,
something he swore he'd never think
again? Or, was she now limestone
like Minerva, a half-revealed secret,
her breasts insinuating the same
domed wisdom? Maybe his mind

was already heading home to Hoboken—
his body facing hers—his unsure feet
rushing to make a connection
with Sinatra's ghost
amongst a trainload of love cries
from the Rustic Cabin to Caesar's Palace.
Hugged there under the curved grandeur,
she says, I love you, too, Johnny. 

Yusef Komunyakaa's new book is Warhorses.