by Dennis Nurkse
In that lit window in Bushwick
halfway through the hardest winter
I cut plexiglass on a table saw,
coaxing the chalked taped pane
into the absence of the blade,
working to such fine tolerance
the kerf abolished the soft-lead line.
I felt your eyes play over me
but did not turn—dead people
were not allowed in those huge factories.
I bargained: when the bell rang
I would drink with you on Throop
under the El, quick pint of Night Train
but you said no. Blood jumped
from my little finger, power
snapped off, voices summoned me
by name, but I waved them back
and knelt to rule the next line.
From:A Night in Brooklyn
Copyright ©:2012, Dennis Nurkse & Alfred A. Knopf
Last updated December 21, 2022