Remember when people used to say they
could not feel their arm? When all of this
city air was ventilated with palms and the cold
rush of peppermint gas was brought in through
a pink tube in the ceiling hung with zip ties and foil?
Do you remember when the crowds
would disperse along the river and wander
into the hills split not only by desire but the muted
nobility of earnestness and palimpsests?
Do you remember when the dirge of the day
sounded regal and pointed, not harsh and blotted?
Do you remember when the lucrative jangle
was mostly for rented spaces and wet throated
desire was for the warm honey-lobbed spank of Mulberry?
Do you remember when the pastry was coarse
and inedible powdered not with sugar but
the creatures of 23rd Street? Do you remember when
the moist towelettes would stack neatly in the vestibule
halting not just the flow of blood but also of thought
and intent? Do you remember when the soft breezes
of March were stained with orchids in clay?