Monday, December 13, 2010

86th Street Crosstown Bus

We came to a roaring stop
from depths we climbed
toward daylight bright
jewelry freezing earlobes directly on contact
with the frosty air above
we climbed

The lone violinist cried to us through his strings, binding us together
nobody looks at him; we hear every note
here church steps house those resting on cold granite with cardboard signs pleading
the smell of bagels from the shops cover the smell of the street
mixed together in madness always

Today my short blond prototype is with me
on our secret mission, our favorite thing
no words for that delight I feel when he smiles
no words for how I anticipate these moments
the sidewalk remains solid beneath our steps

Tree vendors and book sellers and coffee wafting
it's Christmas and it's joyous and it's sad all at once
these moments passing our mind
more than we can absorb
beauty and chaos; absence and presence keep us grounded now

Ahead is our destination...
he knows the drill, my son my son
there is the traditional wait at the first stop
there are ladies who shop and nannies with small children
standing next to hipster dudes and overeducated bohemians
riding together today - one fine symphony

We sit in the middle because it's his favorite spot in the bus.

From there it's a blur and the heaving and pushing
we are a people crowded into the very fabric of each other
drowned in languages and conversations not one of them our own
the lights are coming on outside, glorious colors
smells are bad and good and perfumed and smokey
we look out the windows at the parks and the stores and the people who'd rather walk

Eventually the ride is over the journey concludes for now
we get off together and head to a store
or to get something to eat, or whatever, it doesn't matter
the trip went so fast, so gloriously
seeing magic through his eyes every time
this son of mine
86th St, crosstown bus

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