David Starkey The 2River View, 9.1 (Fall 2004)
The Devil Beats His Wife: New York City, 1952

—for Ruth Orkin

In the city that year it rained
every day. The time was always
late afternoon, cloud-flecked sun
shining at the end of the avenue.
Beneath the three-story brownstones
that scrutinized every street,
Packards and Chryslers
and mammoth Hudson’s lined the curbs,
waxed hoods slick as wet skins.

On the desolate glistening sidewalk
a hatted man in silhouette
was forever passing a woman
without umbrella or pocketbook,
exchanging one eloquent
eternal glance that implied
some impossibly romantic scene
they knew from movies—as black
and white as the world to come.

CoverPrevious Poem AuthorsPoemsPDF2River