Sunday Morning, New York 1987
Hopper would have seen the deception of the light
which covers these red brick walls where you once lived.
The painted lustre of these blackened roofs
speak of art, but cannot speak of life.
Now in hospital rooms others die.
Under the city’s silver towers,
the sycamores have budded. The sun is bright on the reservoir,
departing jets fly east.
A radio outside my window spills rap music into the street
and two girls dance under a tree.
I remember the bar on Columbus last night,
blue light streaking the faces and one
look which grazed my eyes like an August day on which
open fire hydrants gushed into the street
and Puerto Rican men sang
under the dim light of office buildings.
I remember you in the corner of that white room
you body in the folds of the sheet
and the weight of your arm.
Time goes on now in offices, in the cavernous streets
where newspapers move with the wind. This was our world
unsung and dead. In the noisy rooms, in the passing night
laughter, it is you I remember.
from A Journal of the Plague Years: Poems 1979 – 1992 by Walter Holland © 1992