Empty Buildings – Night in New York. Arthur Coleman


Illuminated by plane-warning floodlights,
clouds wisp past the tops of tall buildings
whose insides are empty of life at this hour.

Walled-in halls and rooms sectioned into
squares leveled stories upon stories above
ground, fixed as firmly as centenarian
trees by their grappled root structures,

are dark and unseen, though lit ambiently
by light that has somehow crept like vine
up the walls and through the atmosphere,
compressed into substance by the flat rigidity
between walls, so windowed they are sheer

glass cliffs, shooting off the translucid
streets, blackened by recent rains; and
the red and green day-glo of exit signs
perennially pointing down cavernous
evacuation routes that are the conduits

whose night-long drafts whisper the
empty buildings’ seething potentiality.


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