The Silver Maple
it used to be his place but then
he moved. no i dont love him
not like that but i do remember
how he set down his Spicy Mary
rimmed with chili pepper salt
on his nice wooden end-table just to
crack the fire escape window for me
the night i finally got that call--
my mother's mother was gone.
a Tennessee girl at heart, the fire
escape was the closest i could get
to a porch, which i think is where i
would of ordinarily taken such news.
i had no idea there was so much space
between the brick backs of Harlem blocks--
long corridor of shadow & iron & leaking
AC units clearing their throats
of the oncoming summer. she is still
not here, my grandmother
& he is no longer living on the 3rd floor
of The Silver Maple on W. 143rd st.
& i am certain i will never notice
the sunset on that particular fire
escape ever again in my life
but there is still a version of me
too many cigarettes deep
on the scaffolding
my legs still paddling the dusk.