Notes from Underground

by Gary Percesepe

for pari



The end is rehearsed over and over;

in a world without heaven all is farewell.


There's a stretch of ice and snow ahead

visible from your basement window.


You sit on the big bed billing hours while

outside under the great sky grief falls like leaves.


In the crooked streets of the suburbs women are

strung like Christmas lights on telephone poles


their heads positioned like satellite dishes

tuned to imaginary planets.


I want to sit on the roof of your old building high

above the Hudson and take one last ride with you


beyond the papery Palisades, past the tall ships

dozing in the harbor to see Lady Liberty, who looks


like she's put on weight and donned a pair of glasses

to peer over at Jersey, squinting at the barest watery wave,

scribbling dissolving messages on her ten foot tablet,

raising her stony arm to you in salute.