Upon Leaving


Co-Winner Academy of American Poets Prize
Published: April 22, 2010

My mother tells me about

walking the same earth as Einstein

as a child, a bashful brunette

with handsome, Catholic parents and

an aluminum tub in the kitchen

for bathing; then everything seems

romantic, even that truck, there,

making a left turn, its heavy body

swaying along the speckled street

in a noon-honey mottle

that soaks through the lime blaze of trees;

it pushes up Columbus Avenue,

through Harlem and towards the Bronx,

then into the state and

everywhere is a ringing magnum opus,

a stoned symphony of canaries

as all the slippery, yellow taxis

honk their golden horns.