Ravi Shankar

Issue #
February 3, 2014

Two Water Towers Red (2008)

…a sliver of light hitting the street at an angle…
             (Sonya Sklaroff)

                as                 in
              what            dusk
             passes       through
    how the weight of the not-yet-night-sky upon the rooftops
    pushes down upon the thrust of cornice and spire, the light
interpenetrates        ochers like red clay           dug out from
loam with hand        axe or mattock yet             is the reverse
    of earth being firmament, not firm but atmospheric, some-
    how invisible from the sidewalks most of the time walkers
  walk by with their dogs on a leash or their ears plugged up
with music then    suddenly, up ahead             everything lit
  up with bonfire    you can never think             how you did
    not notice before. Think Toni Morrison in Jazz describing
the citysky emptying itself of surface, “more like the ocean
    than the ocean itself,” so close you could pluck it, a peach
  made of scattered light, fine particles born from interstellar
collisions, while       the deepening glow           grows redder
    in dream-space     exhuming a buried             rhythm beat
    from footfall, taxis, curling stream, pigeons, the shuttered
      windows flickering with television, fluctuating in shadow
    as bodies pass by, all of it rising up and up to meet what’s
    falling, pulled earthwards by gravity until an equilibrium
    so ephemeral it cannot last longer than minutes arrives to
    stretch boundless light: the whole city as living organism

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