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.

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