Setting: crooked Brooklyn—rendered beautiful by a night
of rough, wind-driven snow needled across building faces,
sticking where stucco has worn away over years—fragments
of exposed brick—hard edges of a first, forgotten surface.
Jimmy's is the business of corrugating the past—
pushing experience into great ridges and folds—
each morning taking a post at the window
above Smith Street watching . . .
there is a chair and a small desk. This morning
a vase of ruined white
tulips—gone past wilting to decomposition—
must be removed. Then to work:
sometimes he leaves the curtains pulled.
Buildings and trees, through linen, lose
edges and relax into an uncertainty
of beginnings and endings—he sits, relishing the overlap.