Across Times Square Is Paramount

I. 

You are the axes, bowtie, pivotal moment
we all pass through to get to the other side
of our lives. This time 

I’m emerging from Penn Station, heading your way
along freshly rained-on sidewalks—the tourist
thicket watered well.  Your required spectaculars 

advertise everything but
this love story I have left
to tell. Will he be jealous? I wish 

I could tell him I cry
whenever I see his face. But I don’t.  I do
when the Friday afternoon slow river rushing crowd drags me in. I am 

so in love. Would he be jealous yet? I check
the Chevrolet clock. Into the transverse LED net—Broadway,
42nd Street, 7th Avenue—I become an endangered species 

in an island sanctuary, practicing the art of intentional
walking.  Always a little subversive on these streets. I am so
in love. Beyond you, west along 46th Street, through scaffold mist, my love is 

Paramount. 

II. 

The hotel looks the same. 

Stainless steel, concrete, a hundred shades of horizontal
gray to subvert the vertical noise outside. Rose 

heads protrude from wall surfaces without newscrawlers. Fog and January humidity
get smuggled in waves through the heavy swinging lobby doors.  A blue floor light 

guides the small hot elevator as it rises 14 floors. The same
floor-length mirror and barley twist

rail greet me as the doors open. Room 1508—another small one,
the bathroom sink a metal funnel that drains the tear I give away 

as quietly as the shift in my mouth’s shape. Down
in the Library Bar, I don’t drink 

all those glasses of Shiraz. I drink black coffee for free and know better
than to wait for him to arrive. Would he be jealous yet? An emotion 

he hides so well. I can only manage to say it once—in reverse.  There is no story,
no plot ready for neon streaming, only enough character to walk across 

the Shuffle in well-worn heels. It’s all I have to show for
you—how I learned to recognize my love of place, 

over person or thing, with no jealousy left to pass through to get to the other side.

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