Vassar Student Review

Vassar Student Review

Featured Author

Electrical Fire

Let’s rewire the map:

you are my city cleansed in flames.
Every mean street is scored in orange
and escaping at last the crimes of its name.
As borders untangle and we come together
I sing the snapping of skyscrapers
writ in the rise and fall of your lips,

and, closed in their shining wave of mauve,
I forget the plastic face
of every neighbor, friend, and leader,
their weighty language 
with its faceless cabled sneer––

It was meant to melt to a river of color 
and rush over the immeasurable tenderness 
of your hands suturing the earth like roots.
From the city’s shards you fit the sky with an arch,
a new continuity. I stand in its pale shadow 
until you extend your hand to me––
your arm is a bridge splitting time in two––
and I step through.

On the Sidewalk

On the sidewalk, do you wonder 
after the blurred woman whose path 
interlaces with yours down to the subway?

Might she be the sort who scours miles of walls,
seeking the bumps and gaps of a secret door?
Imagine––let us leave no corner uncaressed.

She may soon enclose herself in stolen solitude, 
standing in a public bathroom
with her palms open against earth-tinted drywall

waiting to catch the pulse of another world.
When your gaze hurries past hers,
do you recognize what you’ve seen?

Her pupils, like twin caves in a cliff face carved wise by the sea,
harbor her retinas, tapestries of seeing machinery
that an ancient chance hand worked into the walls.

Spilling echoed whirring,
they beckon you into worlds yet unseen––
Leave no wall unwitnessed.

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