the rivers of it, abridged

New York City skyline at night


Fall 2008



Ellen Peckham

Loft View

Suspending belief I picture a canal below,
not the major crosseet I refuse to see
(by just not looking down).

The view ahead an aged — not antique —
building of white; embellished landmark
quoting all the classical motifs.

Elements catch the morning sun or
cornice and capitol are veiled by rain,
urns and lion's head sometimes capped with snow.

Not looking down I can conjure a
landing and gated entrance, silent gondolas,
transport as loud but more mythic than ours.

And leaning back create myself a different city,
deep in reflected light, mosaic-floored,
carpeted by the East, referenced to

a long-lost, distant land.


Obsidian Mirror

In a mirror's tain — finely silvered — we gaze
seeing ourselves glazed, perfected.

The same reflection in obsidian,
however polished, surely

presents us more truly —
dark, shadowed, half blinded,

inhabitants of stone caves. Are we not
most honestly projected indistinctly;

ignorant, doubting, worn,
only smudge upon stone

suggestive, transparent,
transfixed? Unrecognizable, unrecognized.



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