Old age has thrown its cloak on me
Slowing down my walk,
Blocking off old friends
Who have problems of their own…
Or more likely,
Contacts are cut off.
Still alive, holding cups of hot tea
I wander in the maze of my memory
Through times and places
Now, wholly theoretical.
Tilley and his steeplechase,
His teeth like tombstones
Grin from a subway poster
At fourteenth, Union Square
To tempt me down to Coney Island.
Even at that time Luna Park
Was just a dream.
The snakey curves pull a moan
From the 3rd avenue El
As it twists over the housetops
On 23rd on its way to the Aquarium
At the Battery.
That old fort, inhabited by sharks
And seals and open pools
Of horseshoe crabs
Which sit like warted blisters
Lost in antediluvian contemplation.
That New York is now long gone,
With its Cascade laundry wagons,
Horsedrawn or electric.
These days the internet, full of the buzz
Of stranger’s offerings of sex and wealth
Spamming through electronic mail
Slithers through the tangled jungles
Of the kitchen middens
Of the chaos of the mind.