Sunday, December 31, 2006

Sunday, December 17, 2006

but i would miss these things:

*when the bar is closed, and the beer rises in my throat and i grasp for cigarettes i'll regret, to ride in a towncar. to cross the brooklyn bridge, where from the city lights sparkle and pop like bacon fat burned on high. how that towncar bumps along and i slide across the pleather and try to read the name of the driver as he talks on his earpiece and i think hes talking to himself in some far off language. but maybe instead he speaks to his wife, and she waits for the papers to bring her stateside, from jordan, pakistan, haiti, zimbabwe, iran.
*the girl who, at the flea market, amidst a saturday morning symphony of sparkling useless broaches, pendants, necklaces, airforce uniforms, cabinets, broken sunglasses, old brownie cameras, and tooth-rotten old men who wither away in threadbare lawn chairs, sings. she sings through her braces, her rapunzel-length red hair, her knee length celtic-cross embroidered cloak. like joan baez, bonnie raitt or tammy wynette, even, unfettered by her self-conscious or the sidelong goof-eyed stares drawn by the bustling doubters around her.
*or the young psychic, the single mother who sits on her stoop and calls for customers. the bell on her door reads, Ring For Psychic! but why solicit, if she really KNOWS? or how about being single, raising her kid? did she see that coming? and that paint on her nails, removed not by acetone, but instead, by time, by hot water, by nervous scratching.
*or the busboy, his hair cut ambiguously short by the Suck-&-Cut Trimmer, splayed against the wall as he slouches against that handtruck, cigarette dangling from his lips, mummified by that stained old apron, as the sun reaches down behind staten island, the tugboats behind him gone blue and lightless.
*the barrel-chested man with the flattop haircut. and his pal, with the cueball head. how they lean against the opened tailgate of his black chevy truck on 7th & 21st. how they watch the sky and i watch the cages at their feet, and the flung open doors of the carefully built and delicate wooden cages, and when i turn and look at the sky with them, i see the pidgeons, sixty of them or more. how they flex against the hazy blue sky of the last day of this year. the men chuckle, excited. each time the pidgeons fall from the sky the men move to the cages and laugh as the flock of birds, ever coy, surge in an upward wave. the sun shows on their bellies as their wings beat the sky.
and i walk to the bodega for bacon.