Friday, October 7, 2011

Terminal Reading (30th St., Phila.) by Nick Humez

Echoing ceilings, shadowed in their four-story height,
muffle the soon-to-part lovers' altercations,

cell phones, the gibber and squeak of babies, in-tow
cranky children shepherded by patient gradsires,

cracklingly foggy announcements of destinations.

Sitting with my back to the high-backed bench (dark oak)
as usual, I'm reading, consciousness rising to fall
again into paperback histories, while over all towers
the impassive angel with the dead-weight GI in his arms:
art-Deco pathos, pro-patria heroic Pietà.
Heedless, the hordes flow past. This transient temple

fosters my anonymous browsing in leafed pages (ah!
bright wings) of treaties spurned, battles, excursions and alarms,
while taxicabs honk without, and the mote-flecked light
streams on the tablet's roll-call: railroading's own
beloved departed. Behind me, the crowd in the hall
melts down the stairs, its footsteps dissolving in the rumble
of trains departing to terminals unspecified, unknown.

1 comment:

  1. Nice meditation on the sense of place, and one's place in it, Nick.