That Night
That night I dreamt of the friendship of women,

we were all at an opening in the 20’s, near 9th,
the atmosphere aspiring to be electric, the gallery 

bristling with women, and men looking past one another 
more than at the art.  Some of the women I seemed 

to have known for many years and others many years ago
but only for a short while. We’d never become friends;

somehow something had always held me back—
some atavistic mistrust of anyone resembling myself….

Yet that night, I found myself drawn to them, that night
just when I thought nothing new could become of me, 

inklings, stirrings of what might be called longing for 
home. Sisters! I cried, and only one of them turned away

(I’d so often failed her, my sister, in undutiful affection.
Why? What was duty’s relationship to affection?)

but several of them came toward me smiling, apparently 
fondly, and together we spoke about what we saw on the walls, 

lyrical assemblages of pushpins, delicate threads, rhapsodic
words in many languages, scrawled in viridian blue,

phthalo green and other lush painters’ colors
I never dreamt existed in nature. And on a table, 

tall bottles of sparkling waters, French wines,
crescent slices of sweet tropical fruits,

and through a tall window, amazingly, train tracks, 
old abandoned tracks flowering now with native plants,

Joe Pye Weed, Indigo, Tree of Heaven, Squill:
the High Line. Yet none of that spoke to me, only she 

who’d turned her back, her muteness I kept hearing,
the unforgiving silence we’d passed back and forth that night

and, mindlessly, all the years of our lives—
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