Twenty years in the city, my grasp was subterranean—
Christopher Street, Herald Square, Broadway-Lafayette,
Grand Central. Train stops, not the thing itself.
The truest answer is always I don’t know. In Miami,
with two boys racing through moments, I learn
it is not possible to write a poem in the living room.
Aging makes words disappear and worse. They persist
without meaning, the way faces persist after names are lost.
But this explains nothing. Time is a human construct,
like the names of foodstuffs and fauna. It layers me like a cake,
permeable and squishy, leaking along seams that bend
space and slide us ungracefully off our temporary perch.
Most of the data points are missing. We want to see life and death
simultaneously, but can’t. My ardor for these boys who are brothers
and fight over minor inequities as if they were jail terms, but also
laugh at silly nothing, is also not an answer.