|The Devil Beats His Wife: New York City, 1952
—for Ruth Orkin
In the city that year it rained
every day. The time was always
late afternoon, cloud-flecked sun
shining at the end of the avenue.
Beneath the three-story brownstones
that scrutinized every street,
Packards and Chryslers
and mammoth Hudson’s lined the curbs,
waxed hoods slick as wet skins.
On the desolate glistening sidewalk
a hatted man in silhouette
was forever passing a woman
without umbrella or pocketbook,
exchanging one eloquent
eternal glance that implied
some impossibly romantic scene
they knew from movies—as black
and white as the world to come.