silky silence


there’s suddenly a lull on
the street and no cars blow
by me and the city
falls silent
for no reason at all
I can hear the ache
in my legs as
I walk down this city
street that I’ve walked
so many times
before at all
hours, days and nights
but never before
had motion
come to
such a not
screeching halt.

the figures in the park
silhouettes behind ominous
wrought-iron posts are
without movement as I pace
slower to enjoy this gift of
time’s momentum
on first avenue between
fifteenth and sixteenth streets
at 9:35 pm on a
tuesday evening
in december
when I should
be wearing more
than a sweatshirt
and a jean jacket
and sneakers
but I don’t have to
thanks to a fluke
of nature, or nature
as induced by man,
who knows
all I know is that
this cider they sold
me is really apple
juice and maybe
these here
city folk can’t
tell the difference
but a good ol’
upstate hick
like me can

the pain in the
back of my leg grows louder
and the city has recovered from its temporary bout
with silence as if it were just trying it on for a second
like that fancy shirt in the store
that’s way out of your league
but once in a while you stop to try it on
because the smooth lick of its fine silk feels
right against your skin
and you fondle
the buttons you
know you’ll never
graze at 7:00am while
getting ready for work
but still you smile
because for that moment
next to the park
on second avenue between
fifteenth and sixteenth streets
silky silence
feels right


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