This is different. This is
personal. This is my die
hard era. That step
street terrace dares me
to climb away
from those subway tracks,
exposed for miles, to identify
a graffiti memory I believed
they had erased
with the old #1 cars.
New Jersey’s Palisades spill
onto the other side where Wave
Hill becomes more than a label
on a Google map. How many women drink
their own tears
when they reach
this far north? When they think of Redbirds
and that combat steel skin? I am
not alone—but seeking solitude’s prayers
for grace. Limestone retaining walls
and brownstone facades
hold in echoes of their Portland,
origins. I swam in it
and thought I would drown
in that unfathomable thirst.
Whoever rescued me then
could need some of that now. I wouldn’t know.
Mine has become a visitor’s ascent.
I dwell in possibility’s prairie
now, its river a street lined with myth and mud
and messages I’m eager to decode.