Paths, Possibilities, and NYC

Where intersections materialize

An apartment full of boxes in Carroll Gardens An mural art space in Bushwick A mother and daughter in Central Park A little house with a white picket fence in the suburbs

Such different life paths From each other, and from mine Yet New York City is like glue Where these intersections materialize

We talk about the dance between travel and memory Each step to both recall and reshape In Brooklyn, the sidewalks are familiar Yet with each step I’ve forgotten and let go

I once had a chance to live here The MFA program I did not choose An alternate timeline, a life in this big city A much different now

That last line is missing a question mark As now could be as it is Or not at all Living elsewhere, untaken Walking a path I’ve merely intersected


It’s huge, this place In both square miles and possibility Wandering is not only physical But an exercise of the mind


As the years pass I’d think this place would be manageable But it’s the paradox of choice These blocks feel even longer

I cannot wrap my head around it Perhaps that’s why I appreciate it so An empire state of mind A city that will never get old

    Cheri Lucas Rowlands

    Written by

    Story wrangler and editor at @Automattic | @wordpressdotcom | @Longreads