The West Village labyrinth sucked
him in coldly like dark mother death.
Windows were eyes that looked
just one way, and the wrinkled leaf
of an oak was a twisted tongue.
I'm not ready,
yet, she said.
I understand, he said.
He wandered like a shadow
through the wind, a night-fl‚neur
on winding winter streets where
drunk men spit guttural stones.
He drifted at a loss, then found
the sound of clicking heels.
Taxis buzzed by like flies.
Waiting for papersó
it's a hard time, she said.
I know, he said.
A brownstone's windows opened
onto white ceilings, warmth,
an oil painting, and bookshelves.
He froze in the memory
of fireplaces, family,
and home. Wind kicked him
with spurs. He hurried after
the light of advertisements.
Could you just hang around
as a friend? she said.
Sure, he said.
Hollywood glitz marked subway stairs.
Down in the pitóriotous rats, two young
women sunk into ipods, a man sunk into
a bench, an old-timer raving about albinos.
Others stared into the tunnel, hoping.
poetry has been published in Bridges, 322 Review, Lituanus, Prime Number Magazine, The Poetry Porch, inter|rupture, Literary Laundry, Quiddity and is forthcoming in Atlanta Review, Hudson Review and The Waiting Room Reader: Stories to Keep You Company (anthology). His translations have appeared in The Massachusetts Review, Spork Press, Modern Poetry in Translation, Hayden's Ferry Review, Two Lines Online, Lituanus and are forthcoming in The Iowa Review. His book reviews have been published or are forthcoming in HTML Giant, Rumpus and Post Road. He holds a Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and received an MFA in creative writing from Rutgers-Newark University, where he studied poetry with Rigoberto Gonzalez and Rachel Hadas. He has received a Fulbright Scholar Grant to teach and write at Vilnius University, Lithuania during the 2012-3 academic year.