(inspired by "Steps" by Frank O’Hara)
How peculiar you are today, New York.
Like Judy Garland singing in the snow
And the stagnancy of the Seine at two o’clock
In the morning.
You are silent, New York.
In your frozen stupor and your beautiful black-ice concrete
Whose salt cracks under my feet
and smears on the pavement—
We all walk home, eventually.
I do not resent the winter.
It makes me think of cold Saturday nights at Carnegie Hall
When I was too young to understand but young enough to feel it
Dressed in stockings and pinafores and my dad’s coat
I slept with symphonies in the middle of December.
Hey, I’m laughing loudly by myself
Sitting by the East River at six in the morning
My glittering citadel
Always full, always mine.
I do not wish, I do not ache for a person
To be mine.
I live with ghosts and demi-smiles and cracks in my mirror
And the cigarette butts mangled by footsteps and rain.
The vagabonds sleep underneath the Cooper Union cantilevers
With their pitbulls and their heroin needles.
I don’t know where they’re from
And I don’t know if they remember.
How strange, how enchanting it is
To blow smoke out of my window
And laugh at the harlequins
And belong to nobody.
The Word for sitting in a restaurant on Bond Street and it’s raining outside and
it’s June and you drink seven glasses of water because you have nothing to say.
You would complain about how skinny you were but I became comforted by the
feeling of your hip bone jabbing into me. If these walls could talk they would say
we were drawn to each other because of our fascination with jagged edges and
things that don't fit.
I want to lie down on the filthy concrete and feel the pulse of the earth’s crust,
watching all of your errant limbs tread this ground and forget the way home.
Anita R. Carroll is a twenty-two-year-old writer, filmmaker, scholar, and multimedia storyteller based in New York City. A graduate of New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study, she is the co-founder of the Little Fox Collective and Storysmith Productions and is currently pursuing her law degree at Fordham University. Follow her on Twitter @lolitanitaa.