City View

In the window where the city is contained,
where rain collects along the edges
like words moving over the tongue,
the space between two people narrow and widen
and narrow again.  A man arrives against
the odds.  A woman reads a map of the city. 
Since they have never met, they are not aware
of the decades between them.  It’s true that she studied years
of Spanish and has none of it to recall.  One day she points
to the cover of a book and the wrong words come out. 
It’s happened before.  Over centuries we meticulously
name the planets.  Now as if an afterthought
someone points to the sky and declares a planet
no longer a planet.  We start over.  The woman
with the map, the marker; the man with his sketches
and designs.  In the windowpane, the strangers are blurred
as the rain falls against it.

“City View” from SEDIMENT (c) 2009 by Sandy Tseng. Available on this site by permission of Four Way Books. All rights reserved.