The music of fear bolts
in my window off the edges
of the Williamsburg Bridge that hangs in the night
shouldering the F Train as it crashes past
Delancey Street, the occasional passenger framed
in yellow windows of light.
The trash can covers bang.
It is the man who lives
in the doorway downstairs, waving
the copy of ‘Ivanhoe’ I threw out today.
The music repeats and repeats
Judd sleeps, his shoulder turned
from sirens and firetrucks.
By the digital blue of the clock at 3:33
I scout my body for cancer and sins.
The red lights splash across the bed.
I am a whole band of radio stations
as the shrieks from the Pitt Street Chicken Factory
fill the room.
I contain multitudes.
Dear God, bless me, keep me safe, save me.
An ambulance answers from the street.
I go to the kitchen
turn on the light,
stare out the window at the
Williamsburg Bridge refusing to sleep
like people who will not be photographed.
I name a fear for each light on the span:
Dogs and crawling things
no money and cancer
going blind wasting time
the shower scene from Psycho
and cancer and losing papers
and then there are nights
Judd’s out on his bike–
the odds, I fear the odds.
It’s incredible odds we’re against–
a wonder we’re still alive.
Brain tumors and burst appendix
all the cells I destroyed taking drugs.
Recombinant DNA and turning
into my mother.
Men with see through black socks
‘I want to fuck you’ in red lipstick
scrawled across my wall
tanks advancing Ronald Reagen and Idaho.
Yes. I fear Idaho.
Ivanhoe, a man bellows from the street
I lift my head.
The trash cans crash.
I imagine him waving the lid at the sun that slowly lights the sky.
The garbage trucks advance
a rooster crows
then Ivanhoe, the F Train
the storefront rolltops rush.
The machinery of morning cranks itself up
steady and certain as the silver in Judd’s hair.