Issue 2


Who knew they’d be fond
memories? A Romanian gypsy’s yell
of go pee to his cousin,
five guys swilling beer
on a back porch, party
in full swing. Their disco music
well past midnight.

And kids clogging sidewalks on bikes,
Greeks roasting lamb,
religious processions, sharp
seagulls as they circled
from Long Island Sound, the sunflowers
of Dr. Kyriannis, retired dentist, growing
tall in his front yard.

Now is about dissembling.
I pretend I grow old gracefully.
I walk out, empty Texas streets
with historic mansions greet me.
Get in a car. Get out
of a car. Leaves crackle
close to my ear, their
sweep and drop, in so much

I visit Brighton Beach.
I won’t live there.
Elevated trains throb.
Hurt my ears.
Live carp swim in tubs,
right on the street.
Antiques store
full of men comparing
Soviet era medals.

Ocean water draws me.
I move towards the promenade.

She’s right in my path.
Solid, dark in her wheelchair.
Fixed stare.

Eyes with points
of light brown as my own.
Kerchief softly knotted
under her chin.
Stiff silver hairs
above her lips.

Emeralds hide in her hands
if I can unclasp them.
Get past the broken,
unloved scrimshaw
of her nails.