Portrait of a New York Boy, In Rose

A Poem

Photo by Juliana Malta on Unsplash

2018. A self portrait of an ideal self.

He is there, in some other life that runs
perpendicular to my eyelids, a dream perhaps,
but built with the bones of life, minus
possibility, the chance to be, but real enough —

Veins and nerves shaped after city blocks,
hands familiar with brownstone and steel,
bound in with a dozen million souls,
is it possible to feel lonely
where all hearts congregate?

He is a metropolitan prism, or
could have been, breathing in
poems at the Bowery, songkissed
at 54 Below, child of the stage doors,
doula for bawling scripts; late nightmusic
rising through locked doors, making beautiful things
never lonely, alone.

I’ve come to envy him, willow-wand boy,
scarf-wrapped and mittened, unscarred, fairy ringed
by friends, perhaps holding hands,
bathed in sodium vapor as he steps off the G,
serene, homeward-bound to dream.

Jeunesse lost, chest packed with mothballs
and the dust of a dozen years lost; I’ll never be
young again; that boy in New York City.