Tag Archives Ohio

EMPIRE STATE

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Before the viewing galleries were encased

in bullet-proof glass from ceiling to floor

there was wire mesh – with interstices

big enough through which to aim a lens,

and for Manhattan’s airs to freely pass.

Wannabe jumpers were deterred and jokers

keen to fly a kite above Fifth Avenue.

 

Late one sunny October afternoon,

when the leaves had begun to turn, we saw,

as felons might in an exercise yard,

the islands – Roosevelt, Staten, Liberty,

Ellis, and Manhattan itself – reduced,

and the sun begin to set over Jersey,

Ohio, the imperial geometry

of the states, a sentient jigsaw –

and imagined, as prisoners might,

autumnal prairie grass in Kansas,

eagles above the snow-line in the Rockies,

neon-lit diners on Sunset Boulevard.

 

 

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