When the ship goes down, I'll cling
to the desk from my father,
the typewriter from my mother.
They'll be my joint life-raft.
After so many moves, these remain,
always making the final cut,
the one a gift to me in high school
from him who didn't finish grade school,
the other what I watched my mother pound
all through my childhood.
Now one's on top of the other,
my mother on top of my father,
between them the glass plate protecting
the mahogany finish and still,
after decades, impossibly
Two icons for a writer,
for a loved son. So when the ship
goes down, I'll cling to them both
in the rough seas. I won't be
waiting for help, I'll be typing
"Now is the time for all good men,"
my knees tucked tightly
into the little space that's perfect
for a child playing hide-and-seek.
New York Postcard Sonnet #10
Remarks overheard in passing on the street:
"I told you not to sleep with him." "My goal
was ten thousand." "Let's get a taxi, goddamnit."
"I think you're all on drugs." "What's your schedule?"
"Sometimes a dog's not having a good day."
"I ain't find a man can hang with me yet."
"Pasta's just flour and water." "Either way,
we've got to talk tomorrow." "Takeout."
"I filled up the Britta." "He said how was she
and I said she who, I thought he meant you."
"Longer strings, lower sounds." "Blue eyes. As blue as the sea."
"To love New York, you have to hate it, too."
"You can't pet fish." "I'll tell you when we get home."
"So many languages, so little time."