A professor is seated on the fire escape
Of an apartment in an historic neighborhood
Of famous architecture homes
With copper gargoyles or nymphs or wondrous oddities
Gone green. The smell of corner laundry facility
Fabric softener floats up to him. He closes his eyes and breathes
It’s Riverside Drive. It is now eleven forty
And he puts down his students’ short stories.
The fifty-something professor sits daydreaming for
Semester’s end before getting to his sandwich
With heavy mayonnaise and shredded chicken. He
Has on jeans and tennis shoes but is a professional above
The waist; reading glasses and a smart cap.
He sits left ankle over right knee, forms a leg table.
His lady is here
His head and neck now crane left to see where she reads,
Nods off, in his bed.
He puts his right hand to his chest, in love, and then
Slowly strokes his chin hairs into a V, what he does
When he is thinking of her. He saves her half
His sandwich. He removes the smart cap, places it on his face,
Un crosses his legs and leans back to fantasize. Meanwhile,
Above him, the clouds are thinning, showing the sun
The day warms him up
up there on the flower-potted
Fire escape, on top of the world.