When all that cautions the eyes toward the imminent
slide of autumn to arctic winds, the canopy of English elm
and sycamore leaves like colored coins fall and widen
a hole letting more light spill in, heaven’s alms
to earth whose ashen gray and white will soon be all the rage,
and our guilty secret is the baby grand playing Glass’s Orphée
Suite for Piano. Nearby Butoh dancers writhe & almost upstage
with white-painted faces of horror (portraits of Nagasaki?),
and past the fountain’s water plumes, a drugged-riddled couple
share the smoldering remain of an American Spirit,
their grizzled dog roped to a shopping cart and frayed duffle
bag, this city’s updated scene of the American Gothic.
Our reddish-haired pianist lets the melancholic notes
float to high-rise buildings on Fifth above its triumphal arch,
like a film in reverse where the golden foliage is read by a poet
as Keatsian light pouring in. Don’t Get Around Much
Anymore, The Ink Spots version on Decca spins on a phonograph
like an era held aloft and spiraling towards its needled end.