By Jessica Greenbaum Brooklyn Aubade The apartment’s snake plants go up In their placid, green flames, While the sun, now hitting its stride Over the disused navy yard, amasses Lit properties from here To the Trade Towers. The easy-to-catch Industrial stacks flare first, Their grey and black-lipped columns, Buffed to the shine of military Shoes, trip the first rays And are taken. Next come the platformed Cranes, little white and red houses On stilts over the water, their booms Angled like early fishing rods Caught in a net of light, Then a Manhattan glass building Whose green side turns to red Or orange on a good morning, Like a leaf through all its seasons In an hour, or an otherwise listless mate Whose chronic jealousy is incited By the sun’s daily overture To Brooklyn. Eventually, the navy yard’s threeBlock-long, mildly blue hangar And the chorus of buildings behind it, And the municipal stockyard in front The fire trucks, police vans and Garbage trucks are all collected. Nearly last comes the half-sunken pier Where gulls circle and dip down Like raised dust falling And rising. The round of meditations On what half exists Seems the only action in the yard. I Remember my last trip To Houston, How we drove to the hotel, Where the hotel used to be, Where now stands the empty-eyed shell Without towels, beds, lamps Or the curtains that a guest might draw Against the relentless sun, And we were never in those rooms But came almost every day To the adjoining “Largest Outdoor Hotel Pool.” Padding in sandals, squinting, Unbearably hot, We watched them hoist the insides Of the building onto trucks, The liquidating company’s brochures Placed in the display windows Where bad jewelry used to be. When we visited last month, Recounting the tricks we’d played To get in, and how we outlived Those summers by sitting with our friends And your children by the water, We pushed up against the gate And could just make out The empty pool, and the police Sawhorses around it. Although we’ve been Forbidden a certain continuation Of the past, and though I’ve forbidden this Myself by moving next to the Navy yard, I’m encouraged darlin’ Not only by the dream of a gorgeous Tanker which comes sailing into the yard, Or by the walkway of the Williamsburg Bridge into the city, But by the goodness you relayed to me, And how it travels, How it seems to come each morning With the sun. THE TEXAS OBSERVER 21
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