THERE WAS AN OLD MAN OF NEW YORK, WHO MURDERED HIMSELF WITH A FORK;
BUT NOBODY CRIED THOUGH HE VERY SOON DIED, --
FOR THAT SILLY OLD MAN OF NEW YORK.
Late December: my father and I
are going to New York, to the circus.
He holds me
on his shoulders in the bitter wind:
scraps of white paper
blow over the railroad ties.
My father liked
to stand like this, to hold me
so he couldn't see me.
staring straight ahead
into the world my father saw;
I was learning
to absorb its emptiness,
the heavy snow
not falling, whirling around us.
Pigeons shake their wings on the copper church roof
out my window across the street, a bird perched on the cross
surveys the city's blue-grey clouds.
'll come at 10 AM and take my picture.
your picture, pigeons.
I'm writing you down, Dawn.
I'm immortalizing your exhaust, Avenue A bus.
O Thought! Now you'll have to think the same thing forever!
New York, June 7, 1980, 6:48 A.