Third Story Roof Sitting By David P. Miller

It’s so geometrical up here.
Our house is flat-topped.
The other summits in view
make a child’s drawing of peaks.
Wedge tops and gable triangles
asphalt-shingled in shades of charcoal,
brick oven browns, forest greens
scarred from exposure. Up above here
a panorama of three-sided tubes.
Seven brick chimneys, sisters
of one hundred twenty-five years,
sit their squareness as sentinels.

Sparrows speed by and lodge
on a twig at my head height.
Watch them breezing out on that limb.
The landscape is pleasure sidekicked with fear.
Vertigo calls from the sudden edge.
Without railings, this viewpoint
is bordered by neckbreak.
We’ve watched fireworks, shoveled snowdrifts
paltry feet from the vacant air.

The summer afternoon is empty.
One dormer window, venetian blind
drawn. Over the turquoise bodega,
another’s tar beach with pergola,
fence, lawn furniture, nobody out.
Sounds of motor growl, tire chafe,
imperative honks. I’m alone,
rubber roof-spread warming my jeans,
with cloud-clustered green,
the maple seed pendants,
and this solo seagull, suspended.

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