Impression, Nightfall
by Jéanpaul Ferro

Across the daybreak of downtown a tenpin of
rock dove goes to rise west, floating midair like
magnolia hovering in the waters of an artisan’s
bowl; as effortless as your smile; the air, cold;
the arms of Roger Williams’s statue up in Memorial
Park opening wide out toward his beloved city
of Providence down below;

we walk the crowded city streets arm in arm now,
pedestrians crossing the pavement in these open
air intervals, all the stoplights flashing green one after
another, the redolence of Melanzane al Forno coming
from around every corner; Tony, the dancing cop waving
his arms about like Big Bird over on Weybosset and

soon nightfall arrives, the rivers lit up wild with waterfire,
floating pyres atop the Woonasquatucket and Moshassuck
rivers, gondolas full of merrymakers making hay going
downstream, the city fire throwers swinging in tango,
the intercourse of fire meeting girls, blue RISD stars
shining bright like lanterns right up in the treetops of
the courtyards, the marble dome of the state house awash
in this cherry blossom light;

and when I am with you like this all the city clocks seem
to begin spinning backwards like Dali is behind this all,
all those heartaches and ticks in your heart … I see them
right there in this uninhabited place when you smile, scars
disappearing after each amen we place gently down in the
glittering jewel box that is this night—the stars raining over
us over at the edge of the city near the old arched bridge,
where we once fell in love long ago.


Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 15, Issue 2.

Jéanpaul Ferro is a novelist, short fiction author, and poet from Providence, Rhode Island.  He is the author of Essendo Morti – Being Dead (Goldfish Press, 2009), nominated for the 2010 Griffin Prize in Poetry; and Jazz (Honest Publishing, 2011), nominated for both the 2012 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Prize and the 2012 Griffin Prize in Poetry.

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