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Battery Park by Brett Thomas
published in Volume 1, Issue 5 on November 20th, 1994

She walks ahead of me.
Small, but sure.
In my life she is a giant
who could crush me without a thought.

Statues of monkeys play at my feet.
There are two at the edge of a fountain.
On sinks, the other grasps.
A passerby wonders:
"Is she rescuing him?  Or pushing him in?"
I wonder, as well.

So strongly I wish to take her hand
Or put my arms across her shoulders.
But she walks ahead of me, quickly,
and it is all I can do to keep her in sight.

I neglect the statuary in my haste to keep up.
I lose further ground staring at six children and a man.
"Two steps forward," the man says.
A foolish child follows the instructions,
and is chided by his peers and his elder.
I take many steps forward, closing the gap, though Simon did not say.

She waits for me at the end of a wall.
She chides me for not taking enough time,
for not paying attention to park and statues
and children.

In the river, boats drop anchor.
There is a ramshackle houseboat here.
Blue and pink and love and scavenging.
The _Times_ says the people who live there
are circus performers, and pay no taxes or rent.
But she is sure it's a different craft.

She won't meet my eyes, because we see different things.
To me, it is a blue and sunny day with the one I love.
To her, it is a moment with the cloying and indecisive man
who follows and desires her.

The park ends in a pond, with a poem.
It speaks of life and love and loss.
The late sun makes the granite letters unreadable.
I skip it, and am again chided for my lack of caring.
But I am too busy trying to keep up with this woman,
who wishes to lose me with her fast, short stride.

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