Countdown Clock

Next trip booked,
New York in November
registers this relief.

Hotel Beacon the last two times,
why not inch my way north
to Hotel Belleclaire,

two blocks closer
to the last place in the City
I called home?

I’ll find my way
back to the Bronx
first time in a decade.

Time to touch
all the rivers
that aren’t really

rivers—the Hudson,
the East,
the Spuyten Duyvil—

and then there’s the Bronx,
the only freshwater river
in the City.

I will trace
a route with my tongue,
taste the emptying

with a hand
and heart that refuse
to let go

of the expired
MetroCards in my wallet,
even a bullseye token or two

stashed in a wooden box
filled with European currency
collected before the Euro

united us all.
OMNY present or absent,
I will ride the lines

underground where the City gets real.
Enthalpy and entropy
collide on the third rail.

We’re all falling apart
at least a little bit. What a relief
this reservation brings.

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