Manhattan, December 2013
They looked soft and handmade,
flying down from above.
I know that I saw them, despite the distraction
of the city’s flashing momentum.
From what I heard, each wing beat ticked.
They nestled in the eaves like tiny grandfather clocks.
Soft whispers muffling the traffic’s rattle,
saying Hello or Look up here, I wasn’t sure.
Despite the smell of tires and cement and melted ice,
I swear they were lily scented under the Broadway lights
as I walked past the shop with the discount suitcases.
They chattered in my ear about what I did and where I went,
despite the awkwardness of the afternoon cold,
saying they were here to watch over me.
I bought a book of crosswords for the plane,
stood in the hotel lobby as I waited to pay
and watched them stack chairs for the Heisman ceremony.
Sleepless after the night-flight of prairie black squares
that first morning walking down Park Avenue,
I had decided I was glad of their company,
for I was alone in New York.