February Evening in New York

written by

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As the stores close, a winter light
  opens air to iris blue,
  glint of frost through the smoke
  grains of mica, salt of the sidewalk.
As the buildings close, released autonomous 
  feet pattern the streets
  in hurry and stroll; balloon heads
  drift and dive above them; the bodies 
  aren't really there.
As the lights brighten, as the sky darkens,
  a woman with crooked heels says to another woman 
  while they step along at a fair pace,
  "You know, I'm telling you, what I love best 
  is life. I love life! Even if I ever get
  to be old and wheezy—or limp! You know? 
  Limping along?—I'd still ... " Out of hearing. 
To the multiple disordered tones
  of gears changing, a dance
  to the compass points, out, four-way river. 
  Prospect of sky
  wedged into avenues, left at the ends of streets, 
  west sky, east sky: more life tonight! A range 
  of open time at winter's outskirts.

© Denise Levertov