Wintry Mix

you hold the last particles
of the City in the warming
palm of your hand

she slowly removes her heart
from a 1985 photo taken inside
a subway car as it rises above

ground interior tags everywhere
burners burning bright
on the outside

you solitary city
dweller consider the middle
coffee bar hearths

flames ignite the hood of a parked pickup
reflection wrangles reality
in another glass pane

her blood travels
along this northern corridor
from the Mississippi to the Hudson

and back / it’s not the tears
it’s the battle to quell them
that burns a hole clear through

you wait for the night to reveal
how you celebrate this life
from hapless loser to happy loner

family / place / home / people
her apology to the planet
is never enough

you need a city
big enough to tuck into
sweet anonymity

she walks on ice
in the snow
then the rain

then the new weather
more mysterious
than the new math

a man with a bottle
of something brown
in his fist

outside Lowry Hill Liquors
screams words
you can’t decipher

shuffling through the slush with a walker
another man scolds the first
with head bowed the drunk one turns

retraces erratic steps
to hold the butcher shop door open
they both slip inside

she just wants to make it
to today’s coffee bar
without falling down

safe inside you’re going to need
another cup of coffee
to decode the morning already gone

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