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World Trade Center / Mail Runner / ’73

ISSUE:  Summer 2007

There was no languor, no drowsy trade winds,
or stoned-out stupor of lapping waves,

only news, the big board of crime,
corporate raiding, selling short and long.

It didn’t matter, I was no Ishmael.
I just hovered there in the thick of the material—

at the edge of a skyline of money,
rising in a glass box.

It was comic to think Bachelard believed elevators
had destroyed the heroism of stair-climbing.

In the rush of soaring metallic, past the whiff of four-martini lunches,
up gearless traction in transparency,

waves of cool air coming from the vents.
At the 85th in a sky lobby we stalled out and the sun

flooded the glass/the river/the cliffs
Jersey was just gouache and platinum coming apart—
a glistening smudge

and some nagging line from Roethke I’d been reading—
circulating the air:
“It will come again. Be Still. Wait.”


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