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It snows a bit differently in New York City, a kind
of reluctance, a little lost,
not knowing where itíll end up.
Februaryís dark architecture.
At the Starbucks bar facing East 52nd Street,
just down from Lexington Avenue, itís pure
film, all in motion, through the glass,
which Bertolucci, who started out as a poet, called the only difference
between (I guess he meant the lens?) film & life.
Pedestrians in furs, jeans,
two dudes appear,
wanting to be observed, dance,
one Hip-Hop, the other in the Yankees jacket,
a gawky pirouette.
Chinos, leather, limps, gimps, fast-paced,
umbrellas, mufflers, a summer-flowered parasol.
The Ranch 1 chicken delivery bicycle trundling off like a Rauschenberg rocket.
Boots, rubbers, running shoes, heels,
gaits, swaggers, saunters.
I thought I could include the ubiquitous lack
of a smile, but a pink kid just went by with her father telling him all about her
school day. Nothing in common.
A guy sweeping the sidewalk clean,
while those walking left in front of me see the light
of the East River rising, escaping
the dark architecture.
Nothing in common amid all this diversity,
tams, the camel hair overcoat, hoods,
no two totally alike, snow
falling harder on all those with nothing in common,
but style, top to bottom.
©2003 by Robert Gibbons
Robert Gibbons recently resigned his position from an academic library in Boston to pursue his writing career full time. His first full-length book, Slow Trains, & Beyond: Selected Work, will be published by Samba Mountain Press, Denver, this summer.
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