She guessed they were geese
I said they looked like loons
but I didn’t think loons spent much time
in the East River
we both agreed it was lovely to be outside again

I guess she looked it up
because she told me later
that they probably were indeed loons
stopping on their way toward points North
“New England,” she said
which I guess is not where I live

Who in this city would be startled
of their screaming laughing call?

Would it be noticed over traffic?

I don’t think the call of the loon
has any place in South Brooklyn.

I was so glad
to be out with her.


So much of my life
is spent in calculating
what room the sun will shine into
at any given time

and then failing to use that calculation
to do anything more
than grab the last 10 minutes of sun

Glory be to April
when the last 10 minutes
are not also the first


inversion of privacy
is a thing I thought about
on the 10th day of April, 2018

I don’t know what it means

maybe it was a pun
or play on words


Spring feels like something
I can see coming from a distance

like a rider crossing a wide plain
as I watch from castle ramparts

Spring is always down the way

Two corners away, a few small trees

clothed in white, huddled together
under the grey April light

down the slope
some pale green in among the undergrowth

rising slowly through the twigs
like the cloud of dust

from the hooves of an obscure horse


A day about neighborhoods
and families, and history
and stories not our own

and chicken dinner
whiskey cocktails
and trying to find out
how best to appreciate
as well as own up

we are comfortable
and enjoy ourselves
even as we wonder
at the enormity of what is broken

and the impossibility
of getting it right
when we take first steps

what is our part
and how do we do it?


He says that cold springs
keep down parasites
and make for verdant summers
and he says it as though
everybody knows

I didn’t know, I say
and in fact I do not know now
but I take your meaning
and will appreciate this day
for the day that it is

no use whining over
the weather, spring
springs when it springs

Apparently that was not his point
mostly he was just citing a fact
and by then we had doubted away
a portion of its factness

I checked my facts and his

cold winters keep down gypsy moths
but it takes a colder day than this
to kill the eggs
larvae can be washed away or rotted
during wet springs

Today was partly cloudy
and in the 40’s, give-or-take

regardless I think
I’ll try to remember
the point I thought he made
which he has made to me before

moths not withstanding
let the day
be the day


Since coming to the city
I have not driven a car
I walk or take the train
or someone else is driving

Also it is April
And there are seven hours
between noon and sunset
and daffodils and crocuses

So two and a half hours
of driving through falling snow
was a peculiar sort of thing


A moment to consider
the sort of disappointment you feel
when you expect a complicated thing to happen
and a simple thing happens instead


the sunniest thing I saw today
was the girl not more than 8 years old
selling her own drawings on the train

a lady asked her, where’s your mom
who are you with?
and the girl said, stony faced
I’m with jesus

naw I’m just playin’ with you
I’m with my big sister
she’s right over there

twenty dollars, ten dollars
four dollars, two dollars,
one dollar
she turns pages in the folder,

her smile is no less joyful
or delightful
for its calculated smarts

she offers a few discounts
and makes several sales
between Fulton and High Street

a skillful entrepreneur
on the Brooklyn bound A


It’s easy to notice the feet
because it’s easy to look at the feet
nobody thinks you’re rude
when you stare at the floor
and you can think about everybody’s shoes
and all the different people

but I wanted to notice the eyes
the excellent winged liner
the brows
the bright white cataract half hidden
behind a curtain of dark hair