after H.D.

“Amen” in paradise.
What quality of bird? A fleeting

hard-to-catch. On thrifted wings
the author fails and fails and

letters part her dovecote pockets,
touching down. She lands.

A woman yells. The man across
the train says “oh” and catches up

his papers. Chinatown’s the stop.
Three “dings” (the last “ding”

shutters him from slip-back-in).
Remaining passengers unstill,

resettle, seats apposing us,
the bare reflections. Billboards

caption these unwitting portraits,
alphabet in posture not in speech.

Next stop: Forest Hills. The end-
of line. Tomorrow’s inbound

origin: a clock and tunnel.
Milling edge. Eliding pigeons.

Copyright © 2001 Meghan Hickey. All Rights Reserved.
Source: Harvard Review (Number 21, Fall 2001)