• Alex Skovron



‘… it is my ambition always to know more
than the surface discloses.’
                                         —Stefan Zweig


He watches colonnades of cars from the twentieth floor

Crawl onto the Bridge, sips a double Dimple,

Perusing his City. Can’t let go the accident he saw

Next to the Park, a hatchback and a truck, a simple

Prang—the Colt tried to cut in, nobody hurt;

But it’s the moment’s unique perfection he can’t forget,

Its sheer lovely necessity—yes, that’s the word,

The somehow utter need for their collision. Yet

That’s not quite it either. Was it how unbendingly

Both drivers disembarked, or how the truckie,

All cliché muscle and tattoo, shook his head slowly,

Gazing at the girl, his mouth maybe chiding how lucky

She’d been—while she, her hair unbundled

By a new gust, began to weep, and as he reached to pat

Her shoulder to console, she seemed to crumple

Into his sheltering bulk, and there they stood, like that,

Holding each other while the traffic tumbled,

A knot islanded amid the flow of the City’s sap …

And as he sips, a photo collides with his eye;

A face framed on the desktop watches her father cry.




The Landing


But then, one sultry summer middlenight,

when the Tudor hostel-house groaned to its gables

and the gale swept, jostling my elegant dream

of seven-league-strides across a half-known city

glumly awake, I stumbled out in search of water

to the vestibule, the flickered light, the landing;

and there, upon a flight above—rimmed

in a Saturn-ring that, if not halo, hung afloat

like a skirt by the neck of this penumbral form—

clearly but dimly a man, who stood erect

and like a guest of stone stared down

with an hypnotic expertise, as if alert to exact

a tribute or an oath, or some revenge …

I, frozen, less in fright than pertinent disquiet,

thought to address the presence, thought

fleshed into word, and bled into: ‘Hello?’

This gambit, faint for its underbaked bravado,

induced no notice, let alone retort—I staunched

myself to gather vaster courage, challenge ghost,

and would have edged a slipper to the bottom stair,

when attic-timbers cringed, the wind uprose,

and, where an orb had hovered, black singular space.