We whisper along the rails, from Rhinecliff to
Pennsylvania Station. Small ponds
caught along the wayside are nearly frozen over,
rushes still a source of gold.
The stops are all poems in name:
Croton, whose hills Pythagoras
roamed, but here conceal a landfill.
Poughkeepsie, stone cuts swirling
in an ecstasy of geological turmoil.
Along the impending renovations
graffiti tags and patches
underpasses, equipment housing, tires,
whatever else remains of a few encampment lean-to’s.
In increments we are transported
through brief flashes of sky in Hell’s Kitchen,
each released beneath Manhattan,
jostling in our shared ascent.