My Jersey City

The sun rises from trees, its light
pooling under the leaves. But only for a moment,
then the wind shakes it loose, glinting along rails
as a train pulls out from Journal Square
passing a recess in the granite trench
where a ginkgo twists like a dancer of green grace
fixed in a precarious balance of revelation and mystery
which it passes on like love, never content
to stay in the same place long, and maybe changes
with each arrival, now billowing from smokestacks
off Pulaski Skyway, now falling through car fumes
in the wake of a swooping gull.
Its avenues through the swampy stench of mildew
bless even the collapsed docks rotting in shore water
bursting the terms of beauty and disclosure
with the plumes of fireworks at Liberty State Park.
It travels the same dark bridges as the pounding rain
reaching down to the roots where it settles and waits.

Michael T. Young has published three collections of poetry: Transcriptions of Daylight, Because the Wind Has Questions and, most recently, Living in the Counterpoint. He received a fellowship from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts and was twice nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Young received the Chaffin Poetry Award and was runner-up for the William Stafford Award. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in numerous print and online journals including Coe Review, BigCityLit, Iodine Poetry Journal, The Potomac Review, and The Raintown Review.