Wednesday, February 8, 2017

return to the little rooms

returning to the little room --
studio, efficiency, cubicle --
solitary cell in the brain

blundering home at odd hours
you miss the address, or the building's 
down, burnt out, demolished

or the elevator refuses to pause at your floor
you wander out in the night mesh,
Manhattan street matrix

(it was the decade of the solitaries
long-distance hollow-eyed striders
up and down the wounded bleeding avenues)

at last, guided by some god's hand
you stumble home to the little room,
safe place, asylum, it endures in time

narrow bed, desk and lamp, and in the drawer
the deck of suicide cards, your old poems
cryptographic tomes line the shelf

reclining, you recite aloud
the old bards gather
chanting greybeards join in

moonlight plays over the foot of the bed
autumn returns and in its clarity
angels take wing over Harlem

full moon slides and your mind to the west
over the cliffs to paradise
down to the river, onto the rocks of time

--Ross Bender

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