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Lynn Macal


Lynn Macal readingThe Fire Escape Outside #2F
55 Perry Street New York, New York

Fire escape patterns knit themselves across the floor.
Grids of longitude and latitude map routes,
Schemes of angles anticipate scents and savory samples.

I wake and wait to smell the warm brown steam
declaring the beginning, announcing the tour.
Illuminated petals paint the sill blowing sounds of stop and go
delivery, errand, deadline......but not for me.

Hawking treasures below, Ed showcases goods from the grate
Merchant subject to low overhead.
Watches, music, blenders,
Inventory subject to change.

Hunched, the faithful garden-tender renders the plot botanical.
Watering, preening, pruning, conferring with each suckling
He sees their promise and
Builds color spattered hopes for August

Begin beneath the fire escape
follow the grid, braid your way through our laughter,
join the hordes, ride the Park, seek marvels
graph the longitude and latitude of memories.


Never shall I forget that October day when the sun last shown.

My father’s arms cradling scuffed leather shoes, laces
worn, hightops with scabbed toes.

Horizontal stripes blue and white, twisted straps size three
overalls, pockets packed, breath empty.

Arms hang limp, loose, grippless. Innocent one.

Empty lonely sheets, roaring silence, screaming tears.

Sun glory grips the pomegranate leaves, the scent of ending.

You’re here. You’re me. I’m you. I love you, good-bye.

Never shall I forget the good-bye.