For Jana

For Jana, So You’ll Remember and I Won’t Have to Wait

You lived on Coney Island then, the half-remembered dream
of Brooklyn, with parts less remembered
and ready to fall apart. But when you looked
you looked from above, like it was a dream still
a playground for dolls or a wind-up world
of noises and the smells you know you’d smell
if you were doll-sized. All this as a girl
from the 18th floor of the gloomy apartment blocks
down the street, and the Wonder Wheel
wasn’t so scary then, no creaky bolts to hear
and the fall was just a doll-fall. But when the chill came
the poor patrons, hawkers, three dollar beers
all packed up in fright of the cold mouth of the sea
and that’s when it bloomed, Coney Island,
or unbloomed, the packages of dollar fun repacked
the booths shuttered, and it wasn’t complete
till the Wonder Wheel itself, the wheel of wonder,
white contraption of romance and fright, shook like a tree
and lowered its cable cars to the ground in slow motion
packing them away like fruits in a cellar
to brew their sugars. Then its skeleton was yours, Jana,
and the sea was yours, and the lonely marrow of the city
caked for you like a candy, and it was good, Jana,
fall fell and its loneliness was delicious for you
on the 18th floor, waiting for the ride to start again
not waiting for the ride to start again.