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On the Town (1949)

Lauren Hilger

Knowing is unbearable
                                                when I get it right.

One to another to another to find you.

When I did
I kissed the door

that you closed near
the side of my face.

We made a fuss over you and your small honor,
Miss Turnstiles—

I kept saying I disappear.
                        I disappear when this ends, but

there’s something that doesn’t
and it’s that I never disappeared. Really, to myself.

We ran out
and afterward that night wasn’t running out.

We were close to the dancing girls who
closed the place down and you leaned in,

                        one arm over me, reaching.

Roped to happiness.

A sailor picked a girl for one day.
A woman who could stand on her head, every strength.
The most famous in New York City, listed for one month.

Each fact made you witness to me.