In charge of the subway stairs in the conversion
from office to condo, you broke off our conversation
on tonight’s dinner to point out, with mumbled ardor,
the wonderful many-paned old New York steel windows.
I would like to pretend that I fell in love with you then,
a spot of time, in time too, in which the essential man
peered from the opening, beauty unexpected called,
the street grew warm with the yellow lights of the fall,
but what I felt at that point was more akin to esteem
for your ambitious eye, your professional dreams,
a feeling lowering to apathy when you leave my side
again to shoot yet another set of windows you eyed.
I date my love not by one night, but by the many nights
you struggle, cursing the MTA and your oversights,
to draft two flights of stairs, unseen, underground,
user-friendly, multi-stepped, structural and sound.