The Hudson Remembers
From Riverside Drive, I stared at you
until I was in a trance.
And the trance-river was long, wide,
and glistened like a great tower
which reared into the sky.
I saw your waves were panes of glass
polished by the autumn rays.
I saw, along your length,
your windows unzipping –
splinters of plate glass stung my cheeks.
You were so bright and wrong,
as if our sun had plunged from his office
and was laid on a stretcher.
I heard a thundering in your bed
that was our star’s throes.
Then I realised that your flowing
to the ocean was a falling
that would never end.
People inside you, on a hundred floors,
in your rooms, at your desks,
in your stairwells, your lifts,
in your corridors, swept by currents.
And they were breathing smoke
as if drowning in black water,
charred by flames of river-cold.
And your twin – East River –
also remembers, as it falls with you
into the Atlantic, where seabirds
dive into debris like airliners,
and the continental shelf drops away.
There, reams of scattered papers
float down into the abyss,
until all their addresses are erased.