Fire Escape at Sunrise – Poetry by Elisa Affanato

From Williamsburg Bridge – Edward Hopper

She shivers with the pleasure of being admired,
then he says good-bye and rides away,
the long black car disappearing
all the way up past the east eighties.
She watches it grow smaller until it is just a speck
in a landscape of early morning delivery vans.
But her eyes continue along
as one might gaze at trails of light,
then she connects him to the crest of future,
feigns the slight detachment
that brings him back again and again.
She tells herself a faint lie
just before launching over that brink of longing.
And Mrs. Ollinger, across the alley,
with her coffee and oranges,
settles back into a disinterest of her own
fourteen floors above a festival of lives
dawning into another day.


About the Poet

Elisa Affanato is an Adjunct Professor of English Composition and Early American Literature. She has also edited Ph.D. candidates’ doctoral dissertations. She lives in Western North Carolina where she writes poetry and enjoys nature.

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