Entering New York

It’s possible as art:


or an architect’s model.


The train passes factories, abandoned hulls—

just backdrop,

undertones in the dark slap

of tunnel under river. Then stop.


Hands grab coats, shoulders shove,

pants sprint up to the street.


This is sketching,

a tempo of lines.


Morning tints Grand Central Station with green

like patina on bronze.


Vagrants huddle on grates

like vessels lined up for the kiln.


Hailing cabs, arms

scumble the air with texture.


Women in red coats swerve down Fifth,

a sweep of bright signals.


I would watch, but must cross town

past little emerald parks.

Children in swings

etch the sky with their hair.


I would linger

but must choose my point of entry now—


flat blue doors to the hospital,

the chill, definite room


where my brother lies,


light as bone under sheets,

under the vast weight of air.

Cathleen Cohen, Ph.D., is Education Director of ArtWell, (www.theartwell.org), which brings poetry and arts workshops to thousands of children of diverse cultures and faiths in the Philadelphia area and abroad. Cathy’s poems have appeared in such publications as Apiary, East Coast Ink, The Four Quarters Magazine, Moment, Layers of Possibility, 6ix, The Breath of Parted Lips, and Bridges: A Jewish Feminist Journal. She has received the Interfaith Relations Award from the Montgomery County Advisory Board to the PA Human Rights Commission and the Public Service Award from the National Association of Poetry Therapy.

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