Broadway

A poem by Lola Ridge

Light!
Innumerable ions of light,
Kindling, irradiating,
All to their foci tending...

Light that jingles like anklet chains
On bevies of little lithe twinkling feet,
Or clingles in myriad vibrations
Like trillions of porcelain
Vases shattering...

Light over the laminae of roofs,
Diffusing in shimmering nebulae
About the night's boundaries,
Or billowing in pearly foam
Submerging the low-lying stars...

Light for the feast prolonged -
Captive light in the goblets quivering...
Sparks evanescent
Struck of meeting looks -
Fringed eyelids leashing
Sheathed and leaping lights...
Infinite bubbles of light
Bursting, reforming...
Silvery filings of light
Incessantly falling...
Scintillant, sided dust of light
Out of the white flares of Broadway -
Like a great spurious diamond
In the night's corsage faceted...

Broadway,
In ambuscades of light,
Drawing the charmed multitudes
With the slow suction of her breath -
Dangling her naked soul
Behind the blinding gold of eunuch lights
That wind about her like a bodyguard.

Or like a huge serpent, iridescent-scaled,
Trailing her coruscating length
Over the night prostrate -
Triumphant poised,
Her hydra heads above the avenues,
Values appraising
And her avid eyes
Glistening with eternal watchfulness...

Broadway -
Out of her towers rampant,
Like an unsubtle courtezan
Reserving nought for some adventurous night.

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