826. Night Above the Avenue, by W. S. Merwin

The whole time that I have lived here
at every moment somebody
has been at the point of birth
behind a window across the street
and somebody behind a window
across the street
has been at the point of death
they have lain there in pain and in hope
on and on
and away from the windows the dark interiors
of their bodies have been opened to lights
and they have waited bleeding and have been frightened
and happy
unseen by each other we have been transformed
and the traffic has flowed away
from between them and me
in four directions
as the lights have changed
day and night
and I have sat up late
at the kitchen window
knowing the news
watching the paired red lights
recede from under the windows down the avenue
toward the tunnel under the river
and the white lights from the park rushing toward us
through the sirens and the music
and I have awakened in a wind of messages

Source: Migration: New & Selected Poems

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