New York City skyline at night


Spring 2009



Richard Levine

Country Diner

On long road trips, eat
where the truckers go.
You'll like the liberating feel
of sweeping in lean and swift,
amid the trailer hulks.

Waitresses sense
a man's hauling, and how
smooth the miles
have rolled.
You'll like that, too.

Everyone knows
how trying it is
to do your best
going along
your own road.


The Way Home

The right turn off Exit 21 to Cairo,
the left off Route 17A through Sterling Forest,
the shortcut through Gristedes Mall
before the Elephant Hotel intersection,

the roller coaster turn and twist onto Kenyon Road
falling away fast as the sun at winter dusk,
the low-slung pea-green Kosciusco Bridge
its roadway grid teaching tires to hum.

These stations have shown me the way home,
to where my heart springs from its cramped slumber
with the thump of a parachute opening
into the embrace of all that would uphold it.



In the sprawl of small town
Saturday nights, nothing
dims desire like the last
Speed Zone Ahead sign.

Nothing blazes as bright
as the eyes of longing,
racing the inescapable
draw of dawn, while dark

floods the rearview mirror
under the fading fire of stars.



Back to Poetry