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# 11: Keel: Sunset Park PDF Drucken E-Mail
Poem "Sunset Park" by Hillary Keel:
 

Hillary Keel

 

Sunset Park

 

Steaming Brooklyn pavement and Sunday

kids bucket up water, dousing crowns and

shining faces. Eyes, noses, hair become fluid,

their hollers and yelps: I watch from eye’s

corner, from edge of chair and mind,

 

from window: I am a hungry ghost

to watch their water play. Unfathomable:

my white pages lilting in air space—nothing

so bad as this holiday weekend. I page through

blue book then green one, toss paper on the

floor, watch letters swirl

 

as upstairs neighbor passes window, his

familiar mumble speaks of bullet up some

guy’s ass while children screech and splash

beyond

 

later this other huge dude cranks up

car radio, blasts sound through window

screen, vibrates my ribcage, spine and skull.

 

No drink, no holiday feast: I have

paper, the old canvas chair, no one

to hose me down or kiss my cheek,

graze fingertips across shoulders or

bring me almonds to nibble, a glass

of iced tea.

 

I drop papers to table and leave

my rooms, push metal door that

squeaks then slams to approach

this car radio dude, his clan, they

grill prepared meats in tins with

spices from their country, they

speak Spanish.

 

Me, I show white hair, white papers, we

converse, he extends a hand, an infant

in the woman’s arms gurgles. He concedes

and says, anyway, it wastes his battery to

listen to the car radio.

 

Back to this space: walls with molding, wooden

floors, glass knobs—how I once hungered

to work in peace and toss pages anywhere

as I do now.

 

Then the kitchen, its wooden bowl and arugula,

tomatoes, mushrooms. I spice up a sauce that

sings of a night out there, so I traipse out

 

to park sit in sunset: kids throw ball into light,

Chinese flute hums the hill, a couple embraces

against a sycamore tree—

 

then cut across to 44th and 8th Ave, where

Chinatown blinks colored lights and spikey

fruits (I first saw in Europe when

someone spoke of New York)

 

and vegetables lit up under awnings, Chinese

characters, flip flops, crates, packages wrapped

in cellophane, umbrellas, smoothies, bubble tea,

fish tanks and lobsters. I stroll into a

bakery—inside someone asks, Ma’am

what do you want?

 

Along the blocks, I don’t know for what,

the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge swoops

closer, but away from crowds up 54th

an old man has set two folding chairs

under a tree, half shadows, half 8th

Avenue lights, he sits there with small

girl in white and red dress, speaking in

Chinese, quiet, like the flapping of cards

as she sways her legs, like she’s swinging.

 

I eye the house-lined street

to 5th Avenue where Mexico begins,

cactus leaf vendors gone home, frosted

cakes and piñatas fading in shop windows

then back to my rooms, other side

of the park

 

I am so proud

on the floor

await white papers

 

 
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