Circles of lamplight
Pink and orange
Fall on wet asphalt—
Rank exhaust and steam—
White dashed lines
Smudged under
Flattened cigarette packs,
Cellophane, skid marks
Askew—And in the
Gutter, an umbrella, broken.

Dirty London
After brittle mornings
After horse guards passing and double-decker rides
After bowing, genuflection, and finding Dickinson’s grave
After hugging Hamley’s bears and sniffing Whittley’s tea
After plowing through Victoria Station during rush hour
After downing a pint
After seeing Salisbury, and Stonehenge, and Salisbury again
After keeping left and looking left to cross the street
After the noontime downpour
After passing 10 Downing Street
After circling the London Eye and gawking at Big Ben
After unlocking the tower and fleeing from ravens
After crossing Abbey Road in bare feet
After colliding with wax figures in Madame Tussauds
After gawking at The Globe and pretending to know Shakespeare
After shrugging at London Bridge, even when it glows at night
After the mid-afternoon shower
After Sherlock solves the mystery on Baker Street
After recarving the Rosetta Stone and praising the Sutton Hoo
After braving the Underground five times in two hours
After dancing at Waterloo
After avoiding soccer balls and then laughing at Piccadilli
After taking the Trocadero by storm
After visiting Virginia at Hyde Park Gate
After grinning at Buckingham Palace and The Chocolate Bar,
Alone in the hotel room
A nose is unclean when exhaling.

At First Date
I’m standing on a corner
In downtown New York City
Breathing hard
Having climbed up from the 1.
I’m turning in circles
On a sidewalk in Tribeca
Leaving her a voicemail
About how, right about now,
I’m starting to
Freak. Out.
In. Public.
On the West. Side.
While I clamp frantic hands
Down on wind-blown hair.
But then he does show up,
And I don’t throw up on him.
Instead, we eat dinner on the water.
We drink pomegranate martinis.
We go back to his place,
Where we play Hootie and the Blowfish
And then Elvis and then nothing.
We go out onto the balcony,
We watch lights go off and on,
And I’m drunk above the din
At madnight in Manhattan.

How To Begin A Brooklyn Romance
Of carousels and ferris wheels
and cotton candy on a tightly-wound paper stick;
of side show sword swallowers, ocean
breeze, boardwalk dancers, and sandals;
of car rides across town,
dinners of dogs and potatoes,
blinking neon signs above subway stops;
of grainy films glamorizing a harsh real day to day;
of Russians, Italians, and Jews;
of barkers, basket balls, tickets,
and games rigged just so;
of a parachute jump, idle,
that’s what first dates are made of.

Reversing Falls
A current heads down.
Grass, weeds, boats
tumble with the water,
under bridges, between boulders,
around and below factory,
bus depot, craft makers in flea
markets, selling their wares.
But then
not to be outdone
a current heads up.
Everything up top and below
crashes back from whence it came.
Waves rage and roll.
Rafts fly up, get lost in the mist.
Still, twice a day, without fail,
the tumult subsides.
No, the currents don’t settle and retreat.
Instead, uncompromising,
they push up against each other,
with equal power, same passion,
finding stillness only when they
stubbornly collide,
at equal odds.