Grey Stone and Velvet in Albany
By Christopher J. Bradley
I remember looking out at a statue of Lincoln
From a room filled with historically preserved flags
On the upper floor of the New York State Legislative Chambers
At the top of a pink staircase in Albany.
They told us as we climbed it that it was
The Tallest Staircase in the United States
Quite possibly the world
Made of sand washed soapstone.
Earlier that day
We had shaken hands with the Governor in the Red Room
While he'd been doing a photo shoot
For Rolling Stone magazine.
And even earlier
We had met with the state comptroller
After a long walk through A narrow underground tunnel
For short the government employees called it the subway.
The curtains in the hallways
Of the senate building were velvet and mostly red
The atmosphere was like that of what I have imagined about Rome
And the senators were like animated puppets of the people.
I also remember drinking beer cooled in a bathtub
After perhaps the finest formal dinner I've ever attended
As kalimari Filet Minon and Deep Sea Bass
Mingled with Heineken and Killians in my body.
Albany dizzied me to the point of sickness once
Among the absurdity of fraternal antics
But it will never look as dreary again
Now that I have seen how well
On the inside.