by Stephen Dunn
I remember how it used to be
at noon, springtime, the city streets
full of office workers like myself
let loose from the cold
glass buildings on Park and Lex,
the dull swaddling of winter cast off,
almost everyone wanting
everyone else. It was amazing
how most of us contained ourselves,
bringing desire back up
to the office where it existed anyway,
quiet, like a good engine.
I'd linger a bit
with the receptionist,
knock on someone else's open door,
ease myself, by increments,
into the seriousness they paid me for.
Desire was everywhere those years,
so enormous it couldn't be reduced
one person at a time.
I don't remember when it was,
though closer to now than then,
I walked the streets desireless,
my eyes fixed on destination alone.
The beautiful person across from me
on the bus or train
looked like effort, work.
I translated her into pain.
For months I had the clarity
the cynical survive with,
their world so safely small.
Today, walking 57th toward 3rd,
it's all come back,
the interesting, the various,
the conjured life suggested by a glance.
I praise how the body heals itself.
I praise how, finally, it never learns.
Also from today’s Writer’s Digest:
It was on this day in 1997, the Pentagon tried to end the speculation that the United States had intercepted a wrecked alien spacecraft along with alien bodies 50 years ago in Roswell, New Mexico.
There had been a lot of reports of UFOs during the summer of 1947, and during this flying saucer craze, a man in Roswell found debris on his ranch from something that had crashed—and the Air Force came to clean it up.
Newspapers around the world picked up the story. The government later said the object found had been a weather balloon, but UFO enthusiasts thought it was an alien invasion, and the government was trying to cover it up. At a press briefing in 1997, the Pentagon said the bodies found in Roswell had been test dummies and not aliens. Many enthusiasts still believe that that press briefing, too, was part of the cover-up.