Two Twilights: Queens


Deposed Majesty–
abandoned white Chiclet factory
of Long Island City.
Over the deserted trainyards
the silhouetted mirage of Manhattan beyond
prevails on the fading day’s horizon,
too far to matter.

Against this color from space are
darkened bars, the Sunnyside Yard,
an abandoned, graffitied train station.
And that empty lot was a ferry landing –
the past in New York is
a ghost that scares no one.

Dusk’s silent movies are playing above
the Kaufman-Astoria Studios.


On Roosevelt Avenue, walking past
winter’s glittering sari palaces
an Indian woman in her
bright green, silver-edged sari
and thin coat, wears
only sandals in the January cold.

The man on the train last summer
wore pointed silk slippers that
curved like a scimitar from the Arabian Nights.

The moon’s a gnarled ginger root.
Soft floating tofu. A white corn cake.
A tiny glass bottle from the botanica labeled
Angeles GuardianesPerfume by Selene.
Or Four Winds. Desperation.
Don’t Forget Me.

The # 7 swerves redly into sunset–
The Swingline sign staples the night with red.

Lorraine Schein