Twenty-First Century Flint Mary Leonard

Against The Wall

If I could contain anxiety
                                in bridge lines
move it across to Manhattan,

I would. If I could
                move over the gray ground
that blocks me in, if I could

                                make it a square
of blue that I could pace and count
                even that, even that
                                would be a way out.

If I could
                count the windows
                in all the skyscrapers
                                east of Fifth,

If I could kick and count
                                I might see a red ball
rising in the blue space,

                                pushing me along
as if I am riding my ten-speed,
                circling my legs, moving
                                at the speed of light

toward the yellow block of sun
                where I brace myself
                                against the wall

like I did as a kid sent out
                                to play in the gray cold
                November mornings,

sent out,
                so I backed myself up,
                                backed up against the brick,

leaning my face into the yellow
                square, and if I could
                                and I did,

I basked in the sun,
                                holding it all in,
in one straight alleyway,
                                moving over the gray ground.


October 2002 2River