Pilar Timpane

April 20, 2008 at 12:08 pm (Uncategorized) ()

Philadelphia Night
(for Dominique & Nadia)

sweet lip gloss on the lit street-
light cascade on the dead-end tattoo storefront
once opium parlor and dug-into brick graves
by prisoners freed from above-board ships, slaves
docked in the green harbor’s waves now filled
with a fresh fetid stank, lazy dipping lull-
aby old shores with old shoes, bicycle wheels,
pink plastic dolls wrapped in winter-woven
shawls, strewn: a “hush little baby don’t say a word,”
fast fall to watery death – “I never meant
to push it off, just wanted to see it fly,” –
and then it is quiet in the hushed, crimeless city
nights, the comfortable dine out with friends or
in with lovers or both; remember, how we used to ask,
“when will that be us?” and now it is, at last
we line the simple night’s corridors, clacking in
adult shoes, cackling sugary alchy throats; in smoke,
the tinkly bells a less bold, brilliant ring
of dust above our heads in the ink, each
night leans longer, dreams of more in city time;
breathing our own breath and thousands of others’ beside us
breath the same since the days we were young
enough to be born, since the time the wind blew in
and planted us here.

When Hemmingway killed himself he put a period at the end of his life.
Old age is more like a semicolon.”
– Kurt Vonnegut

Prayers for time, 9 more hours in a day; please,
let those hours be Yours.
Petition peace, frail chances at silence; make
that our hearts do not stop.

Start, morning drums; slide, trombones; sound, trumpets;
wake us with Your love song.
Hum, night; swing, moon; tuck us in, star swoon;
teach us how to sleep.

Sting of absent time, burn in our bones; make
us older and wiser.
Needs and joys we have, aging list of expectations; please,
let us be young again.

Pilar Timpane is a student at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ where she is studying sociology and creative writing. She recently returned to the U.S. from a year doing mission work outside Mexico City. More of her writing can be found at The Wild River Review and her blog El Cuento de Pilar.



  1. Sheila said,

    Absolutely beautiful!! Thank you for the words that touched my soul.

  2. Aoi said,

    Pili! You rock my world! I love your words! They took me away, far away…I had to hear it over and over! More please!

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