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In The New Sun Analysis

Author: poem of Philip Levine Type: poem Views: 11

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Filaments of light

slant like windswept rain.

The orange seller hawks

into the sky, a man with a hat

stops below my window

and shakes his tassels.


in Tetuan, the room filling

with the first colors, and water running

in a tub.


A row of sparkling carp

iced in the new sun, odor

of first love, of childhood,

the fingers held to the nose,

or hours while the clock hummed.

The fat woman in the orange smock

places tiny greens at mouth

and tail as though she remembered

or yearned instead for forests, deep floors

of needles, and the hushed breath.


Blue nosed cannisters

as fat as barrels silently

slipping by. "Nitro," he says.

On the roof he shows me

where Reuban lay down

to fuck-off and never woke.

"We're takin little whiffs

all the time."


of glass work their way

through the canvas gloves

and burn. Lifting my black glasses

in the chemical light, I stop

to squeeze one out and the asbestos

glows like a hand in moonlight

or a face in dreams.


Pinpoints of blue

along the arms, light rushing

down across the breasts

missing the dry shadows

under them.

                       She stretches

and rises on her knees

and smiles and far down

to the sudden embroidery of curls

the belly smiles

that three times stretched slowly moonward

in a hill of child.


Sun through the cracked glass,

bartender at the cave end

peeling a hard-boiled egg. Four

in the afternoon,

the dogs asleep, the river

must bridge seven parched flats

to Cordoba by nightfall.

It will never make it.

                                    I will

never make it. Like the old man

in gray corduroy asleep

under the stifled fan, I have

no more moves,

stranded on an empty board.


From the high hill

behind Ford Rouge, we could see

the ore boats pulling

down river, the rail yards,

and the smoking mountain.

East, the city spreading

toward St. Clair, miles of houses,

factories, shops burning

in the still white snow.

"Share this with your brother,"

he said, and it was always winter

and a dark snow.


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