From the top of a building to its bottom
Is a tall stack of people. There is no waiting
In the elemental, only the sound of water
Slatting down across the goings. Black spikes
Enter the sky and the clouds until these shapes
Become the very experience. Being in a triangle
Is being pushed forward, outward, and besides
Its first bright utility it grows small, like a mushroom
Forgetting its light in the cold of my refrigerator.
It is there, yes, right now, crinkling into a fetter
Of shrinks. It is black but a strange black. There is no story
To it, not that I can hear. Everything is thicker
In the coldness, even the slack of space in the sky
Slants bolder. Days break through and topple
But nothing stops, just slides. We need a generous
Crash for this century, the center of which breaks
Entry: open sky
It’s your city that’s in the flood zone the whole
city which now is yours a paper
bowl filled with water and the cats everywhere
in little stitches moving out
litter in everywhere cats
and water with fillings
your bowl or paper burns
it’s yours now
which city holes the zone
flooding the in
It: you are city
It: that’s in the flooding
which zones the holes
City which now you’re
it: burn paper or bowl your fillings
with water and and
the cats everywhere
in little stitches
Stitches litter everywhere.
The and and water’s width
filling your bowl.
Your paper burns.
It’s yours now.
With city holes.
The zones which flood.
The in that’s it.
City are you it.
*Editors’ Note: “Entry: open sky” was previously published in Witness. This, then, is an inadvertent second publication.
Anne Marie Rooney is the author of Spitshine (Carnegie Mellon University Press, 2012) and The Buff (The Cupboard, 2011). Her writing has appeared in the Best New Poets and Best American Poetry anthologies. Born and raised in New York City, she currently lives in New Orleans, where she is a teaching artist.