manhattan (a poem)

The physicist broke the world; 
The world broke the physicist. 

In the city, towers bloom inward, fetal.
Towers condescend, towers boast, towers pierce
only whatever plane lies above
the tallest ambition in a bobbing crowd.
(The crowd wields the mortar.)
It is as if they are quizzical
adolescents, scrunching time
in their newly found fists as it shifts
uneasily, beneath them.

He imagines a painting: 

Two men,
the first with  his gun pointed
at the birds, and the second
perched on some figurative precipice, 
hands trembling
in the glow of dusk's streetlights,
barrel nested in his temple
as he watches the flock fly
above him.

(Birds translate our proverbial sky 
into profundity:
and then into fire, in  
the moment of breathlessness.)

He fancies flying, yes.
He convinces himself that he is.

When he falls in love, it is 
like this:
he attempts, almost feebly
to facilitate motion, and
she becomes it.
(Then, he cannot move at all.)

He sees the terrible poetry in
all of it, finally. He sees that
he could always fashion the towers,
that he never could climb them. 

From the entropy he gathers
two things:
infinity and confusion.

(Trophy utilities for his lost toolbox.)

In the crowd, he is solitary and common,
dwarfed by the median of
what he has created
and how it could destroy him.

In the crowd, he is solitary,
and he wears
the shadows of buildings
that he could make fall.

(They would fall on him.)

He is outrun by his own breath
by a thousand colored feet, in the crowd--

In the crowd, he is solitary.