Bridge and Breezeway

posted November 1, 2018

You are from Manhattan streets that smell like ancient cement and sewage
Where leaves crunch underfoot and decompose faster than in the country
Where the wealthy try to clean up after their dogs
But you still have to watch your step

Your building has a doorman
Who specializes in minimizing the cold drafts
Let in when you are welcomed,
Child of elevators and walls of mirrors.
Views of Queens and the East River
No place to park the car

The car that carries you out of this dirty place every Friday
Through Suburbia––now known as Queens––
Past the Old World Fairgrounds
Past Shea Stadium
Past the airport

To the Country––now known as Cold Spring Harbor
Now known as one of Fitzgerald’s models for East Egg
But then…

a cottage on a hill
really, two cottages, doll houses for a Gatsby generation
now containing a young family
held together by guitar strings and games of bridge
gas stove on a winter morning
bacon fat in a coffee can
a kitchen floor painted black
bedrooms in the other house
far from the beating heart of the kitchen
one dollhouse, they tell you, turned out not to be enough
when the dolls grew up. So a bridge was built
A breezeway
Too breezy in the winter
And boots are never where they should be when most needed.

To cross the first bridge, you take the FDR to the Triborough
To cross the second bridge you leap into the breezeway in your nightie and make the
dash through the winter morning
Bare-footed, fog-breathed
But other bridges are harder to navigate.

On Sunday afternoons
It will be time to go home
Though this is home too.
You will be like these dollhouses,
Split between what is seen
And what is felt.

 

The Comments

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  1. Oh, fantastic, esp the last lines. Such great imagery. And this: “Your building has a doorman
    Who specializes in minimizing the cold drafts”

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