TriBeCa Poem

By Lucas Gonzalez

i.

What else is there to say,

except this

is the world that is left.

It is good,

who would say.

Some languages,

we never learned—
but not me.

This is the streetwe were wrong in.

That was the day I never looked up again—

From here,
you could see them
all falling.

This is where Ihad to be

stronger than a jet,

heart torn, cleft

skin

thin hulk of awning,

blood acid fluorescence.
ii.

 

I’m much too changed to be recognized here, I am thinking
at the backward edge of the upturned street, smoking—

the transparent phantoms of gutted buildings now lush condominiums, homeless hovels between shot-up nightclubs, rows of radio shops, I never saw them, the last empty lot now bed bath & beyond, whole foods, and borders, every wooded lobby studded with sleek intercoms, every person a celebrity, wall street thief, or a mom, every photographer, playwright, executive walks a dog, no one worries about too much

—and just as I write this, an old neighbor appears at the stoop
and the first thing he says to me is:

“ You’re not the kid anymore…
(well, no shit)

“ Who used to play loud and wake the babe…

(how old is the kid, anyway)

“ Shake the walls with the sounds…

(Isn’t the world made of sounds)

“ Of your unbearable strings…

(Isn’t the world an unbearable thing)

& “ They don’t come here anymore…

(The late night love affairs
who would stalk the doorbells.)

“ And whatever happened to you…

(stop making excuses, Lucas)

…You used to walk with the twin pillars
of a gigantic black calamity following behind your back

like a ghastly blimp. It floated a hundred and ten or so stories
up above your head as you went—a parade float of death,” he laments.

By all accounts, I admit the neighbor’s account is correct;
some calamities of time always follow,
whether you like it or not, I understand.

Is it gone? I am thinking as I
walk away—Is it gone yet?

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Lucas Gonzalez

Lucas Gonzalez / About Author

Lucas Gonzalez is a poet from New York City. His first novel, Maple Machine (2006), was published by 826 National (McSweeney's Press). A recent Pushcart Prize nominee, Lucas holds an MA from Middlebury College and is currently an MFA candidate at Columbia University, where he serves as Community Outreach Editor for Columbia Journal.

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