for Marti Friedlander
It’s always strange to sleep in cities
you haven’t seen in daylight.
You could be anywhere, anybody
could be breathing next door. In the night
under used blankets you dream
of waking to the world’s highest spires,
fastest clouds, brightest snow.
You dream of drunken rooftops
strewn with shards of broken stars
and you dream of the people you love.
And suddenly, they’re here in the streets,
on the rooftops of this city
which is nothing, nothing
but shadows and light.
It seems they’ve always been here.
And you tell them without words
because words are not
in the nature of this dream
how much you’ve missed them.
How happy you are to be here. How afraid
of the future, of the past.
They thank you for your visit,
everything is fine, they say,
their mouths opening without a voice,
they didn’t think they’d see you here,
they try to touch you. Then dawn
breaks over the city
and they are gone.