My Stop Is Grand

I have no illusion
some fusion
     of force and form
will save me,
     of bonelight
ungrave me

as when the L
shooting through a hell
     of ratty alleys
where nothing thrives
but soot
     and the ratlike lives
that have learned to eat it

screechingly peacocked
a grace of sparks
     so far out and above
the fast curve that jostled
and fastened us
     into a single shock of—
I will not call it love

but at least some brief
and no doubt illusionary belief
     that in some surge of brain
we were all seeing
one thing:
     a lone unearned loveliness
struck from an iron pain.

Already it was gone.
Already it was bone,
     the gray sky
and the encroaching skyline
pecked so clean
     by raptor night
I shuddered at the cold gleam

we hurtled toward
like some insentient herd
     plunging underground at Clark
and Division.
And yet all that day
     I had a kind of vision
that’s never gone completely away

of immense clear-paned towers
and endlessly expendable hours
     through which I walked
teeming human streets,
filled with a shine
     that was most intimately me
and not mine.