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Contributor: Hillel Broder

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Tearing down the face of my building, dripping from fire
Escapes, catching on my window’s blinded eyes. Bickering cats
Hushed, muffled horns and sirens, all the sharp city’s
Sounds all stilled, while the murmur of the sky’s sighs drips onto

Brick, pavement, glass, into punctured puddles. My dim lamp hangs
Its head and weeps in the window, running-off forever into the roaring
Rivers beneath these streets, about this island.

Drizzled drips collecting in stilled
Browned pools on
Worn, bumpy yellow lips:

Gold stepping stones clutch loosely
The edge of this yawning abyss.

Later, the sky is still alight when street lamps flicker on
Spotlights stray cabs, headlights brighten and cross-walks
Darken on shadowy faces in the glow of cornered stones

And stores. Only the very tips of towers are still splashed with a
Coat of deep orange, catching a falling sky along a line that recedes
As rapidly as the dull navies swallow the purples and reds.

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Hillel is a doctoral candidate at the CUNY Graduate Center and a high school teacher in the Bronx.


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