After Absence
Opaque as when you left it, the sky can tell you nothing
save when it will break. The bridge, you say, is our passage.
You want to see the skyline and then watch it take us in.
A woman leans against a support beam, forearms crossed.
Arms so thick we want her to put on an apron. We want her
to speak to us sternly. You say the onramp is an invitation.
You say it kneels down for you. The heat, the boiling garbage,
its the same,
you say, but it shocks me. You say you cannot
believe the construction, that the buildings are a sentence,
that they are telling you to kneel. Will we beat the storm,
you want to know. I am thinking of the matron and her forearms
and how she lifted her eyes with her face that said so be it.

Allyson Paty was raised in New York City, where she continues to live. Her poems have appeared in Tin House, Frontier Psychiatrist, A Similar But Different Quality and the I Am a Natural Wonder blog. Her collaborations with Danniel Schoonebeek can be found on The Awl and Underwater New York. (

Boxcar Poetry Review - ISSN 1931-1761