I take my eyes out of my shirt pocket,
polish them, plug them in, see Gatsby’s fresh
green breast of the new world: Manhattan stepping
out dripping from the tub, wiping loose
Lenape-Dutch-British suds from her spine,
from craggy thoracic to spooned lumbar.
She sheds moss, coughs soot, sprouts stalagmites;
varicose veins climb up dimpled thighs,
arteries feather below stubbly skin.
Manhattan, you have grayed this winter and
I strain to see you as you once were:
a mother, a mother to loud, thirsty
children, who stack their dreams as bricks atop
your spine, generous as it is brittle.
Copyright © Will Fenton. White Whale Review, issue 1.3