Poetry - Issue 13 | September 2011

Renewing My Passport

by Michael

Renewing My Passport

Every day I have to decide when to cut over
to Broadway, as if choosing a theme,
maybe the expedient dash up Fulton Street
bordered by the iron fence of St. Paul’s Church,
gravestones blinking through the posts.
But with no way to dodge the crowds,
Cortlandt Street suggests a way between
the polished granite of Century 21
and Liberty Plaza’s silver skyscraper,
its vitreous wall seeming to slide with shoppers.
When the days are liquid, it’s best to pass on,
if only to the next block, where I can take
a diagonal across Zuccotti Park, idiosyncratic
except when passed under the legs
of its Joie de Vivre sculpture, red and angled
like calipers, which I avoid when I don’t want
the width of my luck measured,
so I can skip over instead to Thames Street,
up its narrow alley, between Big Al’s Pizza
and the Suspenders Bar and Restaurant, feeling,
as I always do on small streets, transported
to some Florentine corner, or a Parisian market,
if only for the way, in summer, it’s sometimes
closed off, a carpet thrown down and chairs put out,
if only for feeling lost again among possibilities.

About the author

Some travel moments that remain with Michael T. Young are enjoying a bottle of wine with friends in Luxembourg Gardens, sipping scotch on a balcony overlooking The French Quarter in New Orleans, and placing a pen at Joseph Brodsky’s grave in Venice’s San Michele. He has received a Fellowship from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, a William Stafford Award and the Chaffin Poetry Award, and his work has appeared or is forthcoming in places such as Barrow Street, Iodine Poetry Review, The Potomac Review, and The Same.

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