I've lived, for many years, on a city block
that lies between a Sunoco, on Cropsey,
and a Russian social hall, on Bath.
On taking out the trash, at 3 am,
I found the night air had a bracing chill,
and started on a short, digestive stroll...
I slowly walked to bright-lit Bath and then
looked up, above the roofs, towards the sky.
And there, despite the glare of city lights,
were half a dozen lonely, scattered stars
that twinkled bravely in a patch of sky
that seemed as dark as death...
These must, I thought, be brighter than the rest –
that host that city-dwellers do not see
and never may...
I turned around and headed to my door –
but closed it, thinking I should walk the block.
And so, beside the darkened Sunoco,
I saw, above the roof-line silhouette,
another set of stars, a crescent moon,
decreased past quarter – and the silent flash
of a firefly-plane that arced across the dark...
I watched this pass the moon and disappear,
as eyes, adjusting, saw the dark had hues...
I stood there looking, drinking all this in,
and then walked home – as I had seen enough
to soundly sleep my precious hours three...
But if I'd wandered north – and passing Bath,
had walked to Benson, I would then have seen
yet more of sky, above a line of trees,
and yet more stars – perhaps the baleful Mars –
and Jupiter and Sirius and more...
That waning moon would then have walked with me,
and I, bewitched, might still be standing awed
or venturing further on that moonlit street.
I then might not have slept, this summer night...
But I had seen enough – and so returned
and mounted up the stairs towards our flat,
before the dawn in Bensonhurst...
2013 July 30th, Tue. 3:30 am (First paragraph & last two paras added Aug. 1st, 2:40 am) Bensonhurst, Brooklyn