To You, Who Gave Me Directions in Greenwich Village

Summer, 2018 / No. 41

Our relationship is made problematic

by the many details of how you don’t

know me, and how I might have

immediately forgotten your name.

If you even gave it to me. I can’t

remember if you did. Did you?

This I know. You work in a bookstore

in Greenwich Village, and there is

some happiness there for you.

You trust people, which is charming.

You have some difficulty judging

just how tired is a man

when you’re talking to him. This is

a small fault, hardly worth mention.

Yet it can lead total strangers into errors

of degree. Whole sections of the city might

be meaninglessly walked in search of

a lost address you seem to think you know

something about. Do you?

You cannot abide wistfulness, especially

in you. And though you favour

the direction of your work, there is

this thing you do every evening; this walking

prayer; this stopping in at the tavern.

So that, whatever happens over the next

five, ten years, you will not end up like

them. The older ones you know. You will

not go so far in you can no longer see out.