new york or to be precise Manhattan (repurposed anaphora)


to be precise the east side

to be precise midtown to the 90’s — lower not upper

to be precise grey. winter to be exact.

to be precise concrete and pavement and bare branches

to be exact about it park avenue crossing the frost on the hedgerows

the man and the child heading west to central park the 72nd street entrance

or perhaps the 68th — the place where the ww 1 statue is and the path meanders

past the deserted playground. no, not the big one — that’s near 72nd street i keep

on telling you.

be precise. let’s get specific.


cold hands. the man wears gloves. leather. brooks brothers.

the child does not. she has forgotten them. let’s be clear on that.

steam exudes from their throats. like cigarettes the child thinks.

the child looks forward to smoking.

grey sky. clouded over. a helmet of silver. yes.

that’s more like it.

get specific.

the buildings give way to the park. brown and grey now

shall they walk to the mirror-water where the bleak boats lie?

no, they turn left, walk down past the rows of benches gray

with a touch of green where the nails moulder in the wood.

let’s be clear.

let’s be very clear on this part.

walk down, the pavement penetrating through the child’s shoes.

through the man’s too. he stamps his feet. she almost speaks

a complaint hovers on the edge of the steam-future-cigarette breath.

suspended evaporates.

they walk down on stones on concrete on grey slabs

clearly it’s all gray except for the bare brown branches

there might be a tunnel, but to be specific it’s not clear

whether that is true or the imposition of a different memory

but let’s be clear on one thing — it ends with the seals.

the seals at the deserted Manhattan zoo that plunge into the silver water

come up, climb up on resting slabs. seem at home completely

in the gray cold world. it’s not grey to them — it’s a comfort.

the man watches.

the child watches.

the wet is home to them. the cold an embrace

to be absolutely precise about it —

this outside is their inside, the cold their hot,

winter their season for perfection.

the child remembers this

when the man moulders.