SECTION SEVENTEEN
  POETRY PAGE SIX

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COLUMN FIFTY-SEVEN, MARCH 1, 2001
(Copyright 2001 Al Aronowitz)

NORTH  BY THE RIVER

  We walk down Michigan Avenue
on a December night; slow shoppers
huddled arm in arm below the midnight blue
in bundled coats and scarves of breath.

The Wrigley Building lights shoot thick
beams of gloss across the river,
they glaze with frost a wall of brick;
the bridge wavers with traffic.
 

A soft snow falls to the collected light
as couples stroll by windows,
stop, point out a sparkling of foil,
then look up to the snow as it bows
 

from darkness into light, white dots
descending, as if the world were not right
side up, but these notes were pulled
from a dark well by the draw of light;
 

as if these flakes were letters of a poem
assembling negative upon a page,
or cotton coming down to mend
a blanket for the night, making our age
 

forget its business, its separation,
the Siberian expanse of avenues,
this snow, frozen ration from the river
Lethe, falling on the city like dust
 

upon a memory, syllables of snow
sifted from the sky, that warrant
messengers from white to indigo;
a new world tender with the old.  ##

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