Jolia Sidona Einstein
From the Hudson
I am the one who crossed Chinatown
in cloth slippers to the edge of the Hudson
to offer his dead wife a bowl of rice and sesame.
I am the rice and sesame that fed the river,
the bowl waving in river water,
the river water mixed with new rain water
rising up eighteen stories and out the bathtub faucet
of apartment E10
on the Lower East Side. I smell like dead fish.
I am the one in apartment E10
who is not hungry and does not sleep,
who knows only hunger and sleep,
who keeps a house of closed books,
who dips her toe into bath water
smelling like dead fish,
who soaks, dreaming
of falling like rain into the Hudson.
Portrait of Lake Alice
She is a good sitter,
although her boa of wild taro
and egret plumes tickles.
When she squirms,
white light ripples over sapphire.
An egret skims the lake face
blooming with water lettuce.
On an island, a live oak stands,
host to a few black cormorants
shaped like coat hangers,
and a wind-filled plastic bag.
Like the living room I left
across town with lamp, ceiling fan,
and television still on,
she drones all afternoon.
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