Russell Shorto

Russell Shorto's website


Poetry

High Wire

The pale embarrassment of dusk
The distemper surrounding those round green lights:

Sometimes I wish my fingers were younger.
But then they were, weren’t they?

We knew nothing before of what the earth
Today opens for us, its legs

And inner heart, its shall-we-say
Fire. Don’t cry. Squiggles of written

Scripts we don’t know make as much
Sense as all of this, but we’re fine:

You, me, these stars that don’t exist
Above my head, the strangers there,

Packed singly in their silent umbras.
All okay, all fine, all humming to feel their lips

Glowing with the minor glory of friction,
Which tells them they are owners

Of blood and sweat and the damage
They have caused, leading to where we come to rest.