The Void Has Never Healed
On Bleeker Street a moment
of declension as we realize
how dark and alone we are.
In this age of quarantine
the city has clenched a fist
but keeps its rage to itself.
The buses have stopped running.
Grates bar the subway entries.
Cabstands are holes in a void.
Even trash cans have withdrawn
to sulk in basements or alleys.
With everyone out of business
the hulks of retail space loom
with the angst of ancient Egypt.
If only rain would prattle
on the still black asphalt we’d feel
lively enough to rush along
to brighter and bolder spaces.
But the void has never healed.
The page hasn’t turned for years
despite the basking of skyscrapers
girdled about Midtown, the greed
of museums to reclaim the past.
We could fall in step with the dead
cluttering the basement morgues
of hospitals all over town.
Or we could huddle in this doorway
until a creamy sunrise shucks
the creepy old shrouds to expose
the tender parts of Manhattan
where accumulation for its own sake
continues like the patter of mice
through rooms too dusty to rent.