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Bright Windows

Jackhammers rattled the walls with stammered curses & I
awoke from a dream of soft-spoken longing—what I want,
ungiven. The window, a rectangle of brilliance I couldn't enter; thus now, to
retain some sense of holiness I go
to Tompkins Square, but even the monkey bar set escapes the playground, sneaks in
the fenced areas to dance where it says not to tread. The

daffodils so alluring, I can't blame them. One mother yells, I'm gonna tan your back-
. She pauses before they both laugh—he hasn't taken the proverbial yard,
just wants to loaf in the grass, little Whitman. Now
& then I can still hear work crews—steel grates crashing into place, &
a vagrant offers to trade a hug for a dollar. Maybe
today I'll tell the woman I love that I love her & she will take down

her voice to whisper something about romance, about passion. The
city of my heart is always under construction, it seems. Alley
cats yowl in heat, its children grow into leather jackets. Where
are the priests who'd forgive us these trespasses? The park holds little solace, the
grey squirrels on his haunches begs for scraps—this city of charity,
Tompkins Square awash in morning light. On the swings those children
shout louder than hardhats, their voices bright windows of play.

- Gerry LaFemina (from