The girl's gracile fingers
             trace the edges of
                the young man's belt buckle
                   moving slowly along the lines
              of his chest...
          Fourth of July,
             Mid-town Manhattan
                I'm sitting in sepulchral
                  jazz club waiting for the
                     band to begin,
               while in a dark corner
                          two beautiful 
                            young people
                              perform a ritual.
          Recorded music,
             Chet Baker sings, "Let's get lost  in each other's arms."
          ...over the bicep
                down his arm
                   to the wrist,
              then back again.
          Outside, Times Square
              teaming with multitudes
               treading the neon
                  Stations of the Cross.
          I'm in a small town bubble
             familiar images
               the Statue of Liberty,
                 Radio City Music Hall
                   float past me like 
              picture postcards,
          Until now, as the youngsters
             move closer, kiss and embrace
              over a bottle of wine
                I haven't seen New York
                                 Danny O'Bryan

Louisville-based O'Bryan writes: "The club was Birdland on the 4th of July last year and Louis Hayes' band was playing, but there were only 10 people in the house. Is that usual?"

© 2003 Danny O'Bryan

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