Poetry / Poets

FROM MY WINDOW AT AN AMERICAN PLACE, SOUTHWEST 1932 —Alfred Stieglitz by Kate Ruebenson

The southwest wall of the building cracks:
dried skin.
One place on a four-sided body
tired of standing,
weakened by age and a surplus
of squinting.
Early morning sun has beaten
against window eyes
wide open after residents
pulling up lid-shades
have let light establish dominance
over the brick which by night cools.
Begins to sweat again
cracks growing,
bonding with smaller fissures
absorbing each other.
Become dark crevices:
human sun spots.

His blue and white striped pajamas
and himself
have walked a total of miles from
bedroom to kitchen
over forty decades of dawn weekdays
to brew coffee
and pour cereal while looking
across the way.
When the light hits the window
on the fourteenth floor
he knows he’s running late.
If the woman in the corner apartment
still meanders between frames
he has time for an extra cup.
Unintentionally or maybe so
he watched this wall for years,
like the aging face of a lover that
reflects one’s own.

Then as if someone removed the mirror
from above the bathroom sink,
he looks out the window one morning upon nothing
and it’s the sudden nothingness that troubles him.

He knew she was old but he thought
they would have fixed her not torn her down.

That night with a particular somberness
he takes up his nightly reading
of the obituaries
in the Sunday Times.

From My Window at An American Place, Southwest
Alfred Stieglitz (American, Hoboken, New Jersey 1864–1946 New York)

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2 thoughts on “FROM MY WINDOW AT AN AMERICAN PLACE, SOUTHWEST 1932 —Alfred Stieglitz by Kate Ruebenson

  1. A gaze through the haze of forgotten days
    Thus does the memory, as a photo, fades
    And still we try to process the imagined progress

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