Saturday, August 26, 2006

Revised Part 7 of "Only the Scene Has Changed"

I've revised "Parting Gifts," last section of the sequence, in order to round up the themes better. The original and the first six parts of the sequence are here. I will add the epigraph later.

7. Actual Landing

Here’s one more for your album. Let me give you Queens,
the one borough you couldn’t see. A boulevard
of body shops and billboards, it’s an old graveyard
abandoned by the Irish and Italians it weans

from suckling at familiar pubs and tombstone tits.
Others have moved in, with their gods and groceries,
and make (lawyers as mediums) with authorities
their various accommodations, their different debts.

In the day they maneuver, working their consoles,
their bodies up the stairs and round the city’s screen;
at night, the same computer game. Only the scene
has changed—-the maze, pitch or battlefield is the soul’s,

in which the aim, as in the day, is to arrive.
Their children, born American, will be their signs
of actual landing in the city, citizens
of Flushing, 56th Street or Forest Park Drive.

Whole week I walked my new birthplace with you, my dear.
Since citizenship doesn’t follow coming-out,
but childlessness does, we understand our whereabout
is recognizable but unfamiliar.

No comments: