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Angelo Verga

( New York, New York )



from BFR, Winter 2004

_________________________




Facing the Globe


Iím sitting on a bench facing the squashed globe 
the one they put on a flat bed truck and hauled 
into the center of Battery Park over a year ago, 
the one with the so-called eternal flame in front of it
Itís all battered and dented and cut and twisted 
and when the sun hits the big impact crater on its top 
I see a rainbow of sunlight that shimmers into my bones 
and Iím sitting here with a bag of fresh corn 
and a few bulbs of garlic and a hot pepper plant 
all in different plastic bags, all acquired at the farmersí market 
in front of the Customs House, the one Melville clerked in

And trickles and globs of people visiting the park 
on their way to the Ellis Island ferry stop 
and photo the globe, and I guess Iím in some of those 
snapshots in the guise of an old veteran New Yorker 
lazing on a bench in this park on a hot August morning, 
and I notice a girl with very long legs and short shorts 
who must be the white goddess of the Japanese tourist bus 
because she is surrounded by a gaggle 
of digital camera wielding office men 
& their wives & daughters 
where are all their rising sons? 

And it hits me how delicious it is to be alive 
and not crushed by a collapsing tower 
or covered in the dust of 3000 souls 
vaporized except for a few shoelaces and fingers 
that fall all over the morning and spoil 
being alive on this magnificent day 
in the best, last golden decades of the empire
that is ruled by men with the eyes of lobsters.



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