Bleecker Street, Summer
Derek Walcott (b. 1930)
Summer for prose and lemons, for nakedness and langour,
for the eternal idleness of the imagined return,
for rare flutes and bare feet, and the August bedroom
of tangled sheets and the Sunday salt, ah violin!
When I press summer dusks together, it is
a month of street accordions and sprinklers
laying the dust, small shadows running from me.
It is music opening and closing, Italia mia, on Bleecker,
ciao, Antonio, and the water-cries of children
tearing the rose-coloured sky in streams of paper;
it is dusk in the nostrils and the smell of water,
and gathering islands and lemons in the mind.
There is the Hudson, like the sea aflame.
I would undress you in the summer heat,
and laugh and dry your damp flesh if you came.