On an Island (New York City)
In the last hour of night, I lean into
a book that multiplies its pages.
A settling and a continuum:
bedding down of a sedentary body
and a story of an expanding universe.
For nearly three months I’ve not walked
out into the evening, my skin un-kissed
by summering breeze, wafts of ghost
fragrances of wisteria and gardenia.
A virus has leapt
into another species, and a plague roams
the globe, locking down its best predator.
Health: spatial matter and loneliness.
I’m not reading the book,
thumbing its leafing, fanning pages.
In bed I prefer to be hostile
and, rather, host my own
breathing. In the distance, sirens
like a continuous Nina Simone dirge.
As water through granite,
I let myself dream of an archipelago
where I began, a scattering both
of isolation and attachment.
Originally published in Los Angeles Review (March 2021). Copyright © 2021 by Joseph O. Legaspi. Used with the permission of the poet.