"The City"

A weekly poem, read by the author.
Sept. 10 2002 12:56 PM

The City

Listen to Paul Breslin reading this poem. In the summer evening, young men and women are running beside the water—the men shirtless, the women in shining synthetic shorts and racer-back bras that shimmer in arc-light. They want to remain desirable and desired, they stay out late to breathe in these winds that shake the leaves' magnified shadows. Small boats ride at anchor, starboard green,

port red, signing the lanes of passage. A rust-dark moon
leans on the water; climbing night-flights lean on the air.
And each runner leans forward: could the stranger once
glimpsed in a window, high in the sky-wall teeming with lights,
even now, just over the rise in the path, be striding
invisibly nearer, to recognize at a glance the one who waits?

Paul Breslin is the author of You Are Here, and with Rachel Ney, a forthcoming translation of Aimé Césaire’s play, La Tragédie du roi Christophe. He teaches at Northwestern University.  

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