Bleecker’s bleaker in the rain,
Hipsters, comedians, and musicians (sometimes one and the same) all scattered out between the raindrops,
Hiding in little shops selling chess pieces and Himalayan artifacts and $1.50 slices thinner than the paper plates they’re served on,
Grateful for a dry place to roll their spliffs,
A place to sit and be still with a screen staring back blankly at them,
Chatter about the night ahead,
Mindless status updates as ephemeral as the rain
Forgotten tomorrow,
Slightly damp steps and streets the only remembrance of the sogginess yesterday.

Uptown, my brother rubs shoulders with those who pay $300 a plate for the privilege of his company now and a future ear,
Made man paid off,
It’s good money if you can hack it,
Pushing off a tax bracket with write-offs and open hands.

an apartment sits empty because
It’s too cold in winter and too hot in summer,
And damn if New York isn’t being fickle this year,
So instead warmer climes and houses are being occupied elsewhere,
Homeless people wettened for the first time in weeks,
Part blessing, part curse,
Tonight it will be colder for God’s Grace falling on them.

My belly is full:
Remembered Brooklyn College bagel brunch and a brief meeting with a memory,
Telling our stories;
And soup and gumbo in Edgewater,
My brother’s cousin’s wife’s hospitality and a shared cigarette break while discussing gardening and composting before she runs off on another appointment;
Thin Bleecker St pizza that sits in my belly like a half-hit punchline that fell flat, except for some courtesy laughs,
And I am satiated,
Though my soul hungers for a meal I cannot name,
Some sequence of solitude and commisseration married to experience and laughter at the face of desolation,
The contemplation that fills each abyss with grief,
That prays its’ surcease and a fraction of peace.

Peace is an approximation,
Even within a Zen master who battens mind against the reckless, wandering beast it is,
Perhaps this moment, perhaps this one,
This one,

Wonder, wonderment, wondrous:
Your breasts in the waving gaze of luminescent lamps and LSD on my birthday,
When the leaves danced stationary on the TV,
And we came for hours, our bodies electric current under magnetism,
Feeding and powering a circuit of flesh ad infinitum,
Colors swimming past as my external is made internal and your internal covers outward,
We are merged as the Maker intended,
Stretching to infinity,
And into this moment,
Where I have been alone,
And you’ve been hunting for a replacement,
You filled with hope,
Mine filled with my debasement,
My mind running through the trenches,
Wet as Bleecker’s streets,
Yours seeking out elation,
Found it,
Pouring like a fountain,
Your choices running down the hill,
Mine are trekking mountains.

Taxis and cars sit in traffic as the rains let up,
And I leave this pizza place having supped enough.


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