Wednesday, January 9, 2019

112th Street by James Longenbach

112th Street

If only once, if ever you have the chance,
You should climb a volcano.
The hermitage at base camp, the glasses of brandy—
That’s the past.
Who wants to think about the past?

You want to push forward, climb higher, while all around you,
Inches beneath your feet,
Earth is seething, a river of liquid rock.

Will you make it to the summit—
The flying slag, the potholes
Red as an open wound?
Of course you will, it’s easy; everybody does.

So little behind you,
So much ahead—

Once, walking up Broadway
Late at night,
Both of us a little drunk, flurries in the air, Christmas trees
Lining the sidewalk, block after block—

At every corner
You kissed me.
Then the light would change.

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