Tappan Zee

by William Doreski

Lying at the proper angle,
we look downriver and note
the towers of Manhattan lit
especially to impress us.
Half-constructed, the new bridge
lurches into the starlight

to frame the more distant view.
The river doesn’t gasp or gurgle,
doesn’t trip on snags or boulders,
and shovels itself forward
against tidal inclinations

you feel more deeply than I do.
New construction, a skein of girders
lit by a few naked bulbs,
angles across the Tappan Zee
the way we’ve angled ourselves
to affix the panorama south.

Wouldn’t you like to be the first
to drive across the finished bridge
in a spatter of applause?
But now a mist exhumes itself
from the slick and clouds my focus.
Do you see it ghosting up

like a sigh? The towers blur
as if my glasses need cleaning,
and even the bridge, barely half
a mile away, begins to recede
in a smut of half-canceled lines.
A strange malice at work here.

But you glance straight up and catch
a scar of meteor brilliant
a moment, and claim that someone
cosmic has signed this artwork,
so we shouldn’t criticize
whatever final touch applies.