My Stop Is Grand

I have no illusion
some fusion
of force and form
will save me,
of bonelight
ungrave me

as when the L
shooting through a hell
of ratty alleys
where nothing thrives
but soot
and the ratlike lives
that have learned to eat it

screechingly peacocked
a grace of sparks
so far out and above
the fast curve that jostled
and fastened us
into a single shock of—
I will not call it love

but at least some brief
and no doubt illusionary belief
that in some surge of brain
we were all seeing
one thing:
a lone unearned loveliness
struck from an iron pain.

Already it was gone.
Already it was bone,
the gray sky
and the encroaching skyline
pecked so clean
by raptor night
I shuddered at the cold gleam

we hurtled toward
like some insentient herd
plunging underground at Clark
and Division.
And yet all that day
I had a kind of vision
that’s never gone completely away

of immense clear-paned towers
and endlessly expendable hours
through which I walked
teeming human streets,
filled with a shine
that was most intimately me
and not mine.

–Christian Wiman

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