The Kindling


Here we dreamed through the waking hours,
forced alert by jet lag and monstrous snow.
A valentine in sub-zero. Wind burn
or gin blossoms on the C train.
A freeze chased us through Washington Square
into the aisles of the Strand. Brooklyn Bridge

stalked the river like a monster.
Have you ever woken from sleep
into an old movie? Here I saw
dystopian gangs in the subway hoardings
monsters scaling skyscrapers. I still recall
the Sri Lankan taxi driver knocking cricket scores,

back towards me over the Hudson.
It wasn’t always easy. Old lovers
and the paths they’d cut through the city.
Epic drunkenness in Brooklyn, candlelight
capsizing the city with its shadows,
the alcohol fuming in our brains.

Later in Time Square, we fell out,
fell back in, negotiated the corners
(it’s not square) absorbed the night
while a jug band defined the indefatigable city,
like someone pouring a drink down your throat
and it’s delicious and you can never break it off.

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