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.