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Philip Levine - In The New Sun

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. 
                                       Awake 
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." 
                             Slivers 
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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Added: Feb 20 2003 | Viewed: 2364 times | Comments and analysis of In The New Sun by Philip Levine Comments (0)

In The New Sun - Comments and Information

Poet: Philip Levine
Poem: In The New Sun
Poem of the Day: Jan 6 2006
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