Dearborn North Apartments Poem
Rows of rectangles rise, set into brick.
And in every rectangle, there is a lamp.
Why should there be a lamp in every window?
Because in all this wide city, there is not
enough light. Because the young in the world
are crazy for light and the old are afraid
it will leave them. Because whoever you are,
if you come home late but it looks like noon,
you won’t tense at the click as you walk in
which is probably after all only the heat
coming on, or the floorboards settling.
So when you fling your coat to its peg in
the hall, and kick off your heels, and unzip
your black velvet at that odd vee’d angle as if
someone were twisting your arm from behind,
then reach inside the closet for a hanger,
just to the dark left where the dresses live,
what happens next is a complete surprise.
first published in The Southern Review, vol. 37, no. 3, Summer 2001