A Night in Brooklyn

By D. Nurkse D. Nurkse
We undid a button,
turned out the light,
and in that narrow bed
we built the great city—
water towers, cisterns,   
hot asphalt roofs, parks,
septic tanks, arterial roads,
Canarsie, the intricate channels,
the seacoast, underwater mountains,
bluffs, islands, the next continent,
using only the palms of our hands
and the tips of our tongues, next
we made darkness itself, by then
it was time for dawn
and we closed our eyes   
and counted to ourselves
until the sun rose
and we had to take it all to pieces
for there could be only one Brooklyn.

Source: Poetry (January 2008).

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This poem originally appeared in the January 2008 issue of Poetry magazine

January 2008
 D.  Nurkse

Biography

D. Nurkse is the author of numerous collections of poetry, including The Rules of Paradise (2001), The Fall (2003), and The Border Kingdom (2008). His parents escaped Nazi Europe during World War II—his Estonian father worked for the League of Nations in Vienna, his mother was an artist—and moved to New York. Nurkse’s family moved back to live in Europe for a number of years, returning to the United States around the time of the . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Social Commentaries, Cities & Urban Life

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

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