Subway to Manhattan
The white light reflected from snow
still falling, and the impact
that has on white faces--cleans
them. From the El, where
Manhattan's boxes were,
divides reality. Black men standing by the windows
glow as if burnished, and this section
of Brooklyn becomes a mill town. a scrim
that divides this reality from the facade
of the power that would deny it. On the train
some laugh tiredly, some sleep. And the woman who greeted me upon entry, her face
bubbled with lesions, locked
into quiet astonishment at my start, after years
of seeing it on other faces, as if to say,
"then I must live isolated after all," now underground in a blizzard.
Today I remember making love to my wife
on a wooden chair in her library office.
wilted against me.
"Tube" Kristi Wilson
Abandoned tracks. Between the ties
heads and guts of chickens. I recoil,
move on. Later,
among the wreckage,
a bed of weeds,
Across the cinders
red and white cloth snaps in the wind.
Through the overcast,
an ochre sunlight,
patches of blue. One goes about
The women circle, the men
cut in, she dances
with many men. And I think
of the mating of bees, all those eggs in
their bursting sack,
to be fertilized by the chosen partner.
After a feast,
I sit among starving Africans, their naked
flesh hanging like rotted cloth, that
flaccid. I give them,
an almost empty bucket from which
they will not eat. Even in sleep. Even in company.
Mark Weiss currently lives in San Diego, where he publishes Junction Press. He has taught writing and literature at several universities around the country. Mark has published three chapbooks, A Letter to Maxine (Heron Press, 1974), A Block-Print by Kuniyoshi (Four Zoas/Nighthouse Press, 1994), and Figures (Chax Press,2001); two collections of poetry, Intimate Wilderness (New Rivers Press, 1976) and Fieldnotes (Junction Press, 1995); and the anthology Across the Line / Al otro lado (Junction Press, 2002), which he coedited with Harry Polkinhorn. Forthcoming are a bilingual anthology of Cuban poetry since 1944 and and the bilingual collections, Stet: Selected Poems of José Kozer, Selected Poems of Gastón Baquero, and Selected Poems of Raúl Hernández Novás.