Embrace
On Cortelyou summer children shriek and hurl
ice left after the market stands close up.
Cold crystals scatter across the steaming sidewalk.
A dirty white cat ducks under a dirty white van,
and I hug the edges of the low brick buildings.
In their departure one older boy wraps
his arms around the waist of another, head
tucked down into his slim shoulder.

The rent’s too high to live where I grew up.
I’m here, two subway stops removed, unsure
how I’m any different than that young
white woman who yelled down at me
and my new bisexual friends being teenagers
too loudly below her Park Slope window.
We screamed Fuck off Go back to Connecticut!
the worst insult we could conceive of, and ran off
into the park to drink Mike’s Hard and worry
some more about touching each other.

At least I do no yelling now. I am
a quiet, unknown neighbor to these boys:
a slow and unremarked-on violence in itself.
I’m stuck standing at the curb, searching
for an alternative to being useless.
Their bodies press and arc into a deep lean,
dark slender trees bowing in a big wind
as their motorcycle curves the corner.