ENDING APRIL IN WILLIAMSBURG, 1999
We walked in step through foggy Williamsburg,
the river and Manhattan on one hand, and on the other, abandoned
warehouses and factories with grids of small dusty windows,
some cracked, some with glimpses of gears of forgotten machines.
His spiky belt snagged and tore
the lace of my little black dress
as we walked from the subway
to the warehouse with Roman columns.
I was gliding on a thin membrane
of syrup meant to grow rock candy
but molding instead;
sticky dread underneath the late-April heat,
the beginning of an early-summer smell,
too-sunny days tight and stretched with sleeplessness.
Everything was opening and singing, except for me.
There was no opening and springing forth in me,
only warmth swelling into the heat of fever.
Strep throat bloomed yellow and green,
tearing fleshy membranes into lace.