June 13

Every day I walk to Bryant Park without a certain knowledge — the knowledge of whether the lawn is open or “closed,” passable or unpassable, to be in or to look upon.  If it be closed, desire desire desire, I stand upon a bench dedicated to a long marriage and recite a poem out loud to myself.  Henri Cole’s Oil & Steel is a fine object for the occasion, or Sharon Olds’ Ode to the Hymen.  Then I carry on my way to less oxygenated acres.  But if it is open — unstaked, peopled, colonised with quilts and workers and foreign tongues and newspapers and lost-looking people, then I make my way quietly to the green & lay my body down.  Looking up defies all sense of city census population — there is in the air a population of one, one dove nearly gone pigeon with a black feather, and now he is gone.  I go back to my first months of life, in a one-piece suit known as a bubble, when my mother lay me in this exact fashion, a world or two away, on a green square of the living earth, if not a mother to me as it is for some people, at least my home.  Or is it my daughter in the memory who is the baby, in her seersucker bonnet with yellow embroidery, & on the grass near her little body, a most tart and uneaten key lime pie?