My sister married a sailor
and spends her time chasing
water underneath the bridge.
The bridge was never burnt
the night the torch was lit,
so now, she’s crossing it again,
returning home to watch
and the sea.
-written in 1979
So many papered-over
windows in the square –
some hide the future
with ladders and tubs
of paint; others
are simply empty.
A young father with a daughter in a stroller joined me in the elevator down to the train. We said good morning. When I asked the little girl if she was enjoying her Cheerios she looked me straight in the eyes and then looked away silently. When I told her that Cheerios is my favorite cereal, she looked me straight in the eyes and then looked away silently. As the elevator stopped and the door opened, I told her and her dad that I hope they have a good day. She looked me straight in the eyes and then looked away silently. When her father started to back out of the elevator the toddler lifted one hand from the little cup holding her cereal and started shouting at me as loudly as she could, “Bye-bye. Bye-bye.”
Sleepy midnight coughs,
crackles and pops form its limbs.
streetlights burn cross don’t cross
timekeepers slick window blinds
broom dusk and ash from the sidewalks
one empty hand
the difference between dawn and dusk
is a heartbeat
taunting us: cross don’t cross
Friend: Did you enjoy your turkey on Thanksgiving?
Me: I don’t eat turkey.
Friend: Oh, that’s right. You’re a vegetarian or something. You don’t eat meat.
Friend: Well, what did you eat instead of turkey?
Friend: What did you, you know, put on your plate instead of turkey?
Me: Nothing. It isn’t something I think needs replaced.