Pigeons roost above the air conditioner,
leaving pale gray feathers in the vestibule.

My downstairs neighbors cook onions in butter.
Each night I dream the building catches fire.

You tell me the word remote comes from botany.
The exact distance between two flowers.

I wish I had known what I learned last week—
The loved one is lost at the moment of ravishing.

Now I picture the end before the beginning. Our city
flooded, burning, sieged. Walk-up apartments crumbling.

Berlant: the subject must become a subject of unbecoming.
Lorca: the night becomes intimate. Like a small plaza.

In my mind, a thin red string connects our windows.
Emma, when I heard you sing, I felt a sorrow I didn’t know.



Madeleine Cravens