Now, people have obtained a permit from the city
to march through the streets of the city
to protest the policies of the city.
They call it The Day of Anger.
They also call it The Day of Peace.
I sit in a seminar on Narrative & History
without speaking. Nine floors below,
people are still marching.
Sometimes, I walk the streets thinking,
Waste, Waste, Waste.
Sometimes, at the Y, I strip and enter
a room of steam. In this world,
many things reveal themselves
as incomplete. Raised train tracks look out over
concrete cubes in a work lot
stacked like toy blocks as if by God.
Now I am reading Spinoza on a white couch
bought by my husband years ago
with his ex-wife. Spinoza writes
that the mind cannot know the body
except through tenderness or pain.
I once worked at a center for Jewish history.
Genealogy institute, art gallery, archive,
reading room. The experience impressed
no lasting change or effect on my life.
Before the glass entrance I'd sit beside Gloria,
the receptionist who never looked at me.
Jenny, from the Bronx, attended coat check,
had missing teeth and a cackle laugh, and Isaiah
viewed beings of objects gone through security.
They were Black and I was White
and we were careful with each other.
Now, people have stopped marching
and the usual cars traverse Sixth Avenue,
the intersection where a woman was struck
two nights ago. Sirens took her screams away.
What could we have done?
All we did was listen.