A Night in Brooklyn
Brooklyn was my first home when I arrived in New York. There's something about this city that still sparkles and shines like the first day I met it—being enamored of the subway system, the ebb and flow of bodies in transit, and the juxtaposition of being so public and yet so private. My most creative time tends to be during the small hours of the night and Nurkse's poem reminded me so fondly of the summer nights so damp you could drink them—a time when the city, despite being so busy in the daytime, is quite still. Simple. Tender.We undid a button,turned out the light,and in that narrow bedwe built the great city—water towers, cisterns,hot asphalt roofs, parks,septic tanks, arterial roads,Canarsie, the intricate channels,the seacoast, underwater mountains,bluffs, islands, the next continent,using only the palms of our handsand the tips of our tongues, nextwe made darkness itself, by thenit was time for dawnand we closed our eyesand counted to ourselvesuntil the sun roseand we had to take it all to piecesfor there could be only one Brooklyn."A Night in Brooklyn"Dennis Nurkse
"A Night in Brooklyn" was comissioned for the Five Borough Songbook in 2017.