"Town, a town ..."

by George Oppen

George Oppen

Town, a town,
But location
Over which the sun as it comes to it;
Which cools, houses and lamp-posts,
during the night, with the roads-
Inhabited partly by those
Who have been born here,
Houses built-. From a train one sees
him in the morning, his morning;
Him in the afternoon, straightening-
People everywhere, time and the work
One moves between reading and re-reading,
The shape is a moment.
From a crowd a white powdered face,
Eyes and mouth making three-
Awaited-locally-a date.
Near your eyes-
Love at the pelvis
Reaches the generic, gratuitous
(Your eyes like snail-tracks)
Parallel emotions,
We slide in separate hard grooves
Bowstrings to bent loins,
Self moving
Moon, mid-air.
Your spiral women
By a fountain
Your picture lasts thru us
its air
Thick with succession of civilizations;
And the women.
No interval of manner
Your body in the sun.
You? A solid, this that the dress
Your face unaccented, your mouth a mouth?
Practical knees:
It is you who truly
Excel the vegetable,
The fitting of grasses-more bare than
Pointedly bent, your elbow on a car-edge
Incognito as summer
Among mechanics.
'O city ladies'
Your coats wrapped,
Your hips a possession
Your shoes arched
Your walk is sharp
Your breasts
Pertain to lingerie
The fields are road-sides,
Rooms outlast you.
Bad times:
The cars pass
By the elevated posts
And the movie sign.
A man sells post-cards.
It brightens up into the branches
And against the same buildings
A morning:
His job is as regular.

Last updated January 14, 2019