They said . . .settle your affairs.
In tubes and tunnels,
the Saw Mill slips to the Hudson.
You chose to live life
in a city that buried a river.
In subterranean shape,
in Yonkers’ Little Italy,
you find your footsteps, climbing
one of seven hills
on Dunwoodie’s sidewalks.
A thick lidded pilgrim
reaches Valentine Hill.
St. Joseph’s Seminary rises,
squares of gray granite,
a cross periscopes above the cupola.
You summon Sundays
blue crabbing, selling a dozen to Irish firemen
for ice cream coins. Females wait
the winter, with red polished nails,
to spawn in spring.
Young crabs split, scurrying,
molting, growing too large
for their shells, leaving skeletons,
empty copies of themselves
on the Main Street Dock.
A storefront woman moans,
awoken by trashcans clashing
below her window. In Getty Square ruins,
one like yourself sleeps, fists
clenched on concrete, as snow falls.
Muted, in the backdrop
of their senses, a radio crackles,
. . .and the natives
take no heed
of purple veined hospital glass.
With the last green swallow
of Jell-O, a telephone glows
as quiet as God.
A spot of light . . . a high-pitched sound
submerge into silence.