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January 8, 2008

Hopping off the bus before
Port Authority, I look right to make sure
nothing’s coming—then I hit the avenue
running, up to meet one from the spring before,
with whom, on stoops, I had coffee and chocolate croissants.

That was a good spring. This January day
feels like spring: high fifties, fresh in the air.
Every year it seems
I write about the trees blooming
confusedly, their wood-brains believing
or wanting to believe it’s spring.

Up Ninth with a spring
in my step a sign
flashes red: Manganaro’s,
at which I’ve eaten—chicken parm subs the size
of footballs, and a story of two brothers
in a decades-long fight
over the red sign’s name. I, too, have a name,
but no brothers up here share it.
A little winter goes a long way
for this Southern boy.

Arrived at the park, I find the park’s been made
into not-a-park, rather a rink,
for the winter.
The buildings above, however,
with their white floodlights,
remain the same.
In the city and the buildings and the streets,
in the seasonally shifting park,
I seem to perceive an analogy
or a metaphor for me.

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