During the blizzard we ate ourselves sleepy,
animals bedding down for the winter. Pasta and jarred sauce,
too much sex, and I felt a UTI coming on. We’re lucky
these mistakes aren’t ones that last.
How many babies born nine months from now
will be named Jonas for the storm? At least one, right?
In New Jersey my mother says who would think
her children would be so desperate to get back to Brooklyn where
my great-great-great grandfather was clubbed over the head
and thrown into the Gowanus. My great-great grandfather got the telegram
FATHER IS DEAD STOP COME HOME STOP
There’s a lacuna until my grandmother has seven children:
two sets of twins, each time a surprise, and she cried.
My aunt was in love with a boy who died of AIDS.
Before that he stole their TV.
I was nearly born on the Brooklyn Bridge: rush hour, head crowning
and my uncle groaning “loco, otra contracción!” so my mother almost threw him from the car.
My love was born in Manhattan, but when I met him he’d already crossed the river.
A dialect quiz shows I know about Mischief Night and he has no word for October 30th.
When he moves from Williamsburg down to Borough Hall,
I more or less come. I like how I look naked less in this new bathroom.
All of our windows face central booking, which means
someone very near is having the worst day of their life.
We suspect but can’t see it. What I know for sure
is that the tulips stripped themselves pink
while we were in Jersey for the weekend.
We returned to them, unwatered and awake,
not knowing what to expect when we bought them greenly at Whole Foods.
It rains for a week. Not really but that’s how the clouds feel.
In another year this might be snow but we are inside the warmest
year on record. So was last year, and the one before that. Today
I saw a baby so raw and new, I couldn’t believe it was in a restaurant
the way you don’t see baby pigeons outside the nest.
In the pizzeria she was learning she had fingers.
There are cellars of cheese beneath these streets
and I don’t know how they keep rats out.
You can’t go there, but you can buy a slab at market
taste the rennet and salt and know you were an animal
over the earth, wheel ripening underfoot.