By The East River

Silence by the river, and all is still.
The tourists have grown cold, and I’m growing colder
Sinking into the sand, working its way into my shoes
like mice searching for a hobby hole.

I could sit here forever, let the river rise
and cover me, my eyes closed, my skin
coated in molasses, growing barnacles
as the stones get caught between my teeth.

Leave me to rust in Brooklyn, leave me be,
let the essence of myself be swept away
to meet the Hudson, to meet the bay
to meet the sea, until all that’s left of me,
is a pair of seaweed shrouded Converses,
while I converse with the welcoming waves.

Let the water seep into the cracks in my skin.
Let my ipod short-circuit in my pocket,
take my passport, take my plane tickets,
take my name. Take aphasia and anxiety.
Take everything except my oxygen.

This is all transient anyway, all is temporary.
The East River will one day claim Manhattan,
the city will disintegrate and fade,
The Guggenheim will drown in a cylindrical cyclone.
The Empire State will evapoate.

We all return to our roots anyway,
at least let me do so here by the river.
Where I’ve felt as peaceful as I could ever hope,
hope to feel, hope to be, hope to know
that where I am is where I should be.
Shadowed by the city, chilled by the wind,
the crimson cold warping my bones.

Leave me by the river, or throw me in it,
get it over with and gladly let me go.
I’ll thank you as I drift downstream,
and maybe I’ll send you a postcard in the fall.
“Wish you were here,” in Brooklyn no more.

Chichester, August 2016


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