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Death in the Village
I am awash in wicked intent
swimming with the Village light,
like my brown three quarter boots
with the snow that chills my lungs
as I filter the city’s collective
exhaust, expelling labored sighs.
NYU undergrads still score
smoke in the Square, wear
overcoats and flip flops
with soppy wet socks stretched
taut by rubber thongs, knowing
cops hate cold more than pot.
Winter clad lost tourists, snow
colored, muddle up MacDougal.
Das weise, west down 4th
spyingstorefronts and doorways
for real jazzmusik, not knowing this
is where capitalism killed free jazz.
St. Mark’s gift shop, Bowery gentry,
supplanted the hop-head hustlers,
flophouses, and bedroom alleys.
A world, victim of a newer economy
with no taste or time for idle
real estate and ever less for the idle.
Dragging in my crisp-frozen
coat I match-steps in the Germans’
tracks back toward Panchito’s
to people watch in warmth, eat chips
with fresh picante, drink Cerveza,
and disremember what’s been mislaid.
Later, on Bleeker, I pause to look up.
Blinked snowflakes blur buildings,
hint that a glimpse of what I seek
lies just beyond discovery, where
a car passing through slushy streets
can still inspire a scintillating shudder.
Opposite the Path on Christopher Street,
St. Luke, in complacent quiescence,
appraises the triumphant alteration
from within his winter-rotted gardens,
as I withdraw into Hoboken to endure
the remains of my visible existence.
© 2010 Jay Decker all rights reserved