the rivers of it, abridged

New York City skyline at night





Anslie St.

With time around you like it's a blue-gloved hand
and you a sponge you stroll,
past cones and cracks, what trees loose
to the season
and streets to the rubbing of wheels
going beneath your feet as your two
taped- toed shoes go in and out of the frame.
Or think of it as water, and you
some dove soap, or slope of sedimentary rocks.
What will my waistline be in the year 2020?
You're still drinking jungle juice
and playing on swings at night.
One century curling towards its teens,
and when it's college-aged,
will I put on glasses to read the menu
in a new fusion restaurant?
Will one of my half-selves be whole, and leading me,
will I go down on three legs in winter?
Do we erode or empty-out? As if we're
a tire with a slow leak.
I think I'd like to go like a dust-
glass-cased moth, or else a shell
from a flare gun.



The open el tracks wince
their wideness, all the buildings look
drawn in Japanese perspective,
roofs' hunched, under
other roofs' paunches, and in some windows
appear like lesser Whistlers
on drywall in a city museum:
nude man eating a sandwich,
maybe mayo or onion-bits
poised unbearably or else a rutted back
bobbing, screenless,
under the swinging of the ceiling lamp.
Your inbox yawns and I've got
nothing for it. I just want
to be haltered to some overwhelming passion,
or have a single
vanishing point. The tracks go
across the river in an iron shirtsleeve
and then underground. I'd like
to tame this tangle of courses,
and feel like it's losing that prunes,
isn't it? One's wild nest of futures
and why not? One's free
once the switch goes thrown
and the checks written.



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