in Greenpoint, Brooklyn
Seized with a nightly ambition, the three surged past, a trio
of banqueted flowers blooming westwardly on India Street.
Sweeping past gloomy warehouses in dust green capes,
choking and heaving from the dust of dollhouse attics,
gathered in its folds some crumpled snack bags.
With arms braided, they trampled past tumbleweed tabloids
exhuming Happily Ever After. All lies, all lies!
So boldly they had passed that their gusts awakened me:
peering through venetian blinds of my bedroom, I watched them
standing silently near the broken end of a Greenpoint pier.
Behind flapping bonnets they faced the Manhattan skyline blinking.
Having feasted on gossip magazines and Warhol lithographs,
they now shared the hunger for sophistication, for smiling
before their eyes, on their tongues, in their hips.
A sharp wind electrified the sisters: one broke away,
her bonnet a forlorn cloth in the East River. Then the next,
her top buttons ripped off, a fit of lust. And the last:
deserted, she ran capeless past my windows to the subway station.
The pounding of her stringent heels reverberated louder
than the G train rumbling a block and half away. India Street
sighed, resettling for the rest of the night.
Stepping out of my building the next morning, I noticed them
converging in polyester-shelled jackets on my corner.
14th Street was all over them: their latest designer jeans
packed a listlessness from pushing cheap, wobbly strollers upstairs.
Their babies, bundled together, stared dully at each other,
an understanding of that constant guessing and wondering
at the pale shadows of fathers flickering across their foreheads.
Hurrying past for the next train, I was jarred:
the women’s wrinkled, darkened eyes of disposal
were each a pair of smudged champagne glasses.
No longer just sisters, but mothers and aunts, they bore
now an umbilical cord no girlie-mag husband could ever sever:
with lingerie dreams slung over closet doors,
they learned to spit spectral images of themselves.
Raymond Luczak is the author and editor of 18 books. His latest titles include QDA: A Queer Disability Anthology and The Kiss of Walt Whitman Still on My Lips. His Deaf gay novel Men with Their Hands won first place in the Project: QueerLit Contest 2006. He lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota and can be found online at raymondluczak.com.