Footfall on Footfall by William Doreski
the oscillations of our orbit
seem exaggerated, warping
skyscrapers to feint at each other
like Olympians with epees.
We walk as if the concrete
sidewalk couldn’t possibly crack
and drop us into the subway.
We watch the skyscrapers duel
with each other and the sky,
and refrain from pointless irony.
Summers in Boston always hurt
with poignancies we rarely share.
The gloss of shop windows scorches
across our bodies as we pass,
but that’s not the pain I respect
for textual and historic depth.
Maybe you recall the woman
crying and smashing a bag
of groceries on the gray façade
of the building on St. Germain
where we lay on the roof all night
in the deepest part of summer.
Boylston offers single point
perspective we gladly employ
to orient ourselves to the east.
Walking with our naked selves
held safely in trust, we impress
footfall that overlaps footfall
we laid down many years ago.
The shuddering of the planet,
however slight, acknowledges
our presence, our small weight
warping geometries we studied
in school without learning how
subtly they might apply to us.
William Doreski has published three critical studies and several collections of poetry. His work has appeared in many print and online journals. He has taught at Emerson College, Goddard College, Boston University, and Keene State College. His most recent book is Stirring the Soup. You can find out more about his work at the following link: williamdoreski.blogspot.com