Rooftop in Brooklyn

Where: My brother’s rooftop in BK. When: Last Friday.

So below is a poem I wrote for my Seminar in Literature & Writing class. We’ve been reading the work of poets Jane Kenyon and William Carlos Williams. The assignment (at least what I chose to do) was to write a poem, then to rewrite with an eye toward the editorial voice of either JK or WCW; I chose JK. Below are both versions. Which one do you like best?

Rooftop in Brooklyn

Blackbirds sluice the sky

as one

circling Brooklyn rooftops.

Cigarette smoke divides us

as I stand

belly full under a rosé-tinged sky

inviting evening in.

A nap beckons.

The birds,

now divided

still dip and swoop

in tandem,

while a ghetto-bird *trundles forward

to the blackbirds’ left.

The wind is picking up now.

The trees chatter in the breeze.

Sirens shrill in the distance.

Somewhere a train screams to a stop.

I crush cigarette under sandal.

Casting a final glance,

over Brooklyn rooftops,

while the blackbirds continue

their cylindrical ascent.

* helicopter

Rooftop in Brooklyn-Kenyon edit

 Blackbirds sluice the sky

as one

circling chimney studded rooftops.

A veil of cigarette smoke separates us…

I stand belly full under a bruised rose petal sky

beckoning evening.

I long to take to my bed.

It is too early yet.

The birds,

now divided,

continue to dance

in tandem,

dipping, swooping, arcing.

A mechanical dragonfly

nudges the clouds to the left.

The wind is picking up now.

Trees sway and bend in the breeze,

leaves brush together

creating a sonic trick;

is that the sound of the ocean

trapped in a sea shell?

Somewhere in the distance

sirens slice the early evening air,

a train screeches to a halt.

Gathering sweater about neck,

I survey the scene…

Blackbirds continue

their cylindrical ascent

over Brooklyn rooftops

now capped

with an oyster-shelled sky.

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