Archive for October, 2008

in the cafe

A young girl is off in the corner, dancing. Her moves are slow and subtle, cleaving to the baseline and the places where it stretches out a beat too long. She’s unaware of anyone’s eyes on her. Her face is awkward, but it’s evident that she will grow up sexy, hard to resist. Her twin sister comes out of the bathroom. She’s stiff and unmoved by the music. But she’s taller, and there’s more symmetry in her face. She will have to fashion herself aloof and unreachable to match her sister’s charms. She leads the way out the door, and her sister shimmies along behind her.

in midtown

It’s cold. People are starting to huddle their shoulders inward against the chill. I sit down on a bench next to a woman with her legs stretched out and her thin ankles crossed. She’s wearing flat red sandals. She sees me looking at them. “Not giving in yet,” I say. “Nope,” she says. “I’m the last man standing.”

way uptown

It’s evening and the shifts are changing, people crowd the sidewalks toward the subway. I am walking against their grain and I see a cluster of men emerge from the grand entrance to the teaching hospital. They are tall and square-shouldered. Their smooth skin glows with the same sun that must have once raised their grandfathers’ corn to great heights and sweetness. They can’t have been here long. The city hasn’t carved itself into their faces yet.