Influenza Ode (From a Very Tall Building)
From here, the farthest highway
slammed with cars
arrives to the eye in segments
slicing through the baffling clouds,
shiny as the bite of a memory
of being yelled at, a call to the kitchen
for a late-night admonition,
while the dirty river to the harbor
dries like mustard upon the evening meat.
The worser I feel, the childer I am.
Beyond the window, I can see
how the moody wind manipulates,
the splat of the springtime
jumbled in some illegible smatter,
while the rooftops pretend to organize—
a scripture of rooftops,
dishes and antennae—and jumbled,
over-heated gardens snarl in disuse.
From this far away the occasional bird
blackens in silhouette, little rabbi.
From this far away a rabbinate of birds
swoops above the alleys below,
a gulp of swallows.
The trees evangelize the season,
the light clear as sick soup.
The sky’s a laryngitis.
Shiver me in your arms, my fever—
my life untied, a hospital gown.
(To return to the Spring 2015 Table of Contents, click here.)
Parker, Alan Michael. 2015. Influenza Ode (From a Very Tall Building). Tikkun 30(2): 72.