Why did you move to this city?

 The city blacked out. The glass world opened and all the people walked home. The bridge took them. Enclosed in what had happened, before, they were calm. They walked with a knowledge about the sky, steel rising in the river.  About failure and its machine sound. They walked like people walking home from work on a hot day. They were not ghosts; the trees in the park lined up.       

I looked down the cemetery road, the way up the meadow leading to the mountain with its flat side. The trails to get there blackened in and ridged with grass. The switching creek almost not there switched in me. I looked into the room with the bed. I looked at my sister; we looked at the brown fins and leaves in certain pulses behind the library. I looked at the library, books folded into their thinking. The not-talking and the flat, wind-taking side of the mountain.

There was talking about disaster in the world. The talking, mostly in boxes, kept on. The city was walking out of itself; I watched them walk across the bridge. I opened the book: the bridge maker did not come to see what he had made but his wife appeared. The river pressed his head; she walked across. At the base of the thing suspending me I was not hitting rock.

Elaine Bleakney's poems have appeared most recently in Hotel Amerika. She contributes to The Kenyon Review and is editing an anthology of poetry for Harry N. Abrams to be published next spring. She lives in Brooklyn, New York and Northern Michigan.

Boxcar Poetry Review - ISSN 1931-1761