Do you remember when people used to say they
couldn’t feel their arms? Do you remember when all this
city air was ventilated with balsam fronds and the cold
rush of peppermint gas was brought in through
a pink tube in the trees, hung with zip ties and foil?
Do you remember when the crowds
would disperse along the river and wander
into the hills split by 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 the lucrative jangle of rented spaces
and wet-throated desire was for the warm,
honey-lobbed spank of Mulberry?
Do you remember when the pastries were coarse
and inedible, powdered not with sugar but
the richest cream of tartar? Do you remember when
the moist towelettes would stack neatly in the vestibule
halting not just the flow of blood, but also of all thought
and intent? Do you remember when the soft breezes
of March carried birds that would fly in soft circles,
signifying something new and slightly scary?
Well, I‘d like to have a word with you.