Published on Academy of American Poets (https://poets.org)


With My Back to City Hall, On Yom Kippur

The gnats love the highway dividers, 
the freelance pickup artists love the softness of the hands 
of the women who love their friends
for walking with them laughing at the situation, 
lost people love that I am sitting here looking likely to know, 
I love it when I know, knowledge in the form of radar 
loves the cloud cover which resembles my headache 
in its topography and its effect on my mood, 
the path which connects Park Row with Broadway
loves the paranoia which has closed off all the paths closer than this to City Hall, 
Jesus loves the balding man in the striped windbreaker
who looks at my small script and remarks, "Jesus loves you,"
I love the silk suit and the hard candy curl hair
of the middle-aged black woman going by with her dry cleaning, 
I love the sock the bundled baby recumbent in an Aprica stroller kicks out, 
I love from a distance the speck this woman in the tight clothes 
reaches to brush from her shoe, I love the effect it has on her distraction, I love 
the ties tucked into the short sleeve shirts of the men returning from lunch, 
I love the men and women my age strolling
with purpose in their Pumas, the feather tumbling by, 
the drift of the hulking red haired woman with psoriatic elbows, 
the opal in the hairbow of the Hindi woman in white robes 
and the tuck of her husband's shirt into his jeans, 
the ticking of the wheel of the bicycle rolled along 
by a backpack-wearing man on foot, 
the acceleration of an open-roof double-decker tour bus, 
the ignition cough of the not-in-service kneeling bus, 
the change clod and leaf-shuffle of the lower torsos 
and the carry-out conveyor sound of a closed up shopping cart, 
I love the downturned glance of the woman carrying the Borzoi College Reader
    crossing against the light and going into Pace,

may all these people have rent-stabilized leases, 
and may they be registered to vote, in their unions, 
and in the next election.

Credit


Poem from Million Poem Journal, reprinted with permission of Faux Press Books

Author


Jordan Davis

Born in 1970, Jordan Davis is the author of a poetry collection and many reviews and essays about poetry

Date Published: 2003-01-01

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/my-back-city-hall-yom-kippur