Light over the laminae of roofs,
Diffusing in shimmering nebulae
About the night’s boundaries,
Or billowing in pearly foam
Submerging the low-lying stars...
Light for the feast prolonged—
Captive light in the goblets quivering...
Struck of meeting looks—
Fringed eyelids leashing
Sheathed and leaping lights...
Infinite bubbles of light
Silvery filings of light
Scintillant, sided dust of light
Out of the white flares of Broadway—
Like a great spurious diamond
In the night’s corsage faceted...
In ambuscades of light,
Drawing the charmed multitudes
With the slow suction of her breath—
Dangling her naked soul
Behind the blinding gold of eunuch lights
That wind about her like a bodyguard.
Or like a huge serpent, iridescent-scaled,
Trailing her coruscating length
Over the night prostrate—
Her hydra heads above the avenues,
And her avid eyes
Glistening with eternal watchfulness...
Out of her towers rampant,
Like an unsubtle courtezan
Reserving nought for some adventurous night.
Crass rays streaming from the vestibules;
Cafes glittering like jeweled teeth;
Blinking yellow phosphorescent eyes;
Girls in black
About the orange lights...
Nothing to guess at...
Save the darkness above
Crouching like a great cat.
In the dim-lit square,
Where dishevelled trees
Tustle with the wind—the wind like a scythe
Mowing their last leaves—
Arcs shimmering through a greenish haze—
Pale oval arcs
Like ailing virgins,
Each out of a halo circumscribed,
Figures drift upon the benches
With no more rustle than a dropped leaf settling—
Slovenly figures like untied parcels,
And papers wrapped about their knees
Huddled one to the other,
Cringing to the wind—
The sided wind,
Leaving no breach untried...
So many and all so still...
The fountain slobbering its stone basin
Is louder than They—
Flotsam of the five oceans
Here on this raft of the world.
This old man’s head
Has found a woman’s shoulder.
The wind juggles with her shawl
That flaps about them like a sail,
And splashes her red faded hair
Over the salt stubble of his chin.
A light foam is on his lips,
As though dreams surged in him
Breaking and ebbing away...
And the bare boughs shuffle above him
And the twigs rattle like dice...
She—diffused like a broken beetle—
Sprawls without grace,
Her face gray as asphalt,
Her jaws sagging as on loosened hinges...
Shadows ply about her mouth—
Nimble shadows out of the jigging tree,
That dances above her its dance of dry bones.