Smoke stacks

Cars drown in ash and snow

on the banks of Greenpoint Avenue

but I am lifted by the orange glow

of Pencil Factory windows.


Across the East River

streaks of cloud drift, indifferent

to rituals of weak rebellion—

my smoke a thin question to the upright stacks

puffing on Manhattan’s industrial shore.


I could see the fire escape

as a cage splattered with bird shit,

but it is my perch—

I spy the unknown distance

and right below me

the ground is breaking.

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