The body of New Jersey is sleepy.
The sky of New Jersey is imitation crocodile.
The people of New Jersey hold sunburn
by its delicate hand. They say grace
in the consequent blue light of their television sets.
In the morning sometimes a sparrow
arrives at a window to ask for a dram of salt.
Politeness in such a situation is absurd
but bad manners won’t do come celestial tea-time.
Right then the people of New Jersey listen
to the body of New Jersey underneath the sky
of New Jersey. No longer can they ignore the gin
mills smoldering like an East European drama.
No longer can they vigorously rake leaves
in the wakes of their hand-me-down trees.
They weep openly in their backyards, beneath
their smokestacks and overpasses, all sweetly
candid under the fast sorrow of the tax collector’s case.
The air is empty, as it always is. The air that has no
voice though we bully it with flight and forest fires.
At the television’s supper table we are still at odds
with the sparrow. The sparrow, who sings, and we,
who sing, and the supper, from its microwave,
that sings. We sing and sing and soon forget.