Daylight slants like a razor cutting the buildings in half.

In the top half I see looking faces and it’s

not easy to tell which are people, which is stone work.

Below is shadow where any blase thing takes place:

clarinets and lovemaking, fists and the voices of sorrowful women.

A city like this one makes me dream extravagantly tall.

It’s the bright steel rocking invisibly above the shade below.

I look over strips of green grass lining the river,

at church steeples and into the cream-and-copper halls of tenements.

Alone, yes, but top-notch and indestructible — like the gilt-edge city.


Paraphrases from the novel Jazz by Toni Morrison.