sun birds and their cigarettes
I don’t know anything about this air.
My memories are distant, hazy, abbreviated—like the sounds coming from the bodega radio when you only catch part of a Yankees at-bat…(just came in for smokes) or was it the Mariners.
…In the Chinatowns way, way out there (you know, across the Hudson) in Portland, Vancouver, Seattle (where the air is mine and sharp and full of earth) at round tables for 12 with my extended family—the familiar stuff that brought me here, to Two Bridges, Little Fuzhou, East Broadway…I don’t think anyone knows or cares what to call it, this slower side of Bowery.
We aren’t close, all of that round table for 12. Which is just a matter of fact. But I didn’t come here for answers about that. There aren’t any.
52 hours on this other coast, the one that doesn’t mean anything to me, in one small corner of an American Chinatown that I don’t know. Table for one. Not enough time to be melancholy about those round tables for 12 and what’s missing from them. All those far away rooms have closed down anyway…Sun Ya, House of Louie, Golden Dragon, Tuck Lung, Moon Temple.
Move, go, do it now, right now…
Absorb every bright and dirty color. Admire every face, even if only fleeting on Eldridge. Dote on every shredded awning left to hang in this landscape underneath the bridges, underneath the trains. Between Delancey and Henry, from Bowery to Allen.
Breathing in this air I don’t know a damn thing about—weed in the park, fish on some blocks, Long Island blue crabs on others, perfume in the Division Street hotel elevator. This 52-hour, table-for-one air.