Unbridled Grandiosity (Covid Dreams)

(Preface:  On NPR yesterday there was a piece about a hotel in Jerusalem

where the government put 200 COVID patients.  Arabs, Jews, Bedouins, Christians.

They hugged one another and ate together and all became friends. )


I dreamt I went after so many years to Jerusalem

to see Aryeh he turned 84 this week

we made a party in his beautiful house

friends came from the West Bank

from Hebron a Bedouin poet from Beersheba

some young people from a nearby yeshiva

Aryeh’s many children his ex wives all their families

Netanyahu was in jail on corruption charges

coalition government of Arabs and Jews, half of them female

in charge at last and the country this crazy country

so many people have loved for years, impossible,

so full of life, of people wildly different from one another,

this crazy country, in last night’s dream,

was finally finally ok.




Memorial Day Weekend (COVID)

And we’re not going anywhere we are not

having the usual barbecue happily hugging

friends not eating hamburgers made on the grill I still love hamburgers

my neighbor said  a few days ago people in my building talk more now

six feet apart my neighbor said hamburgers are Politically Incorrect

according to the New York Times but I still

love hamburgers also Heinz Ketchup who cares about

the sugar we make new rituals

maybe this weekend we will still

celebrate walk down the street to Pappardella buy two

happy hour Negronis drink them in the park

make hamburgers on our old apartment stove works

perfectly well watch one of many movies

on the Big List say the words Memorial Day

three times in a row.

What Stays the Same (Covid)

Some things the same as they were

Before Covid.  Every single morning No Matter What

Peter makes fake cappuccinos

tried many ways of frothing milk in Bologna

a while ago our food tour host Marcello thought

every single thing in Italy better than

every single thing anywhere else he said the one

exception was his Swiss frother.

And that’s what we use now.

What’s Different in Our Apartment Now (Covid)

Because we are inside now not

an inside type friends who are my old friend

Sheila  changed her rooms each year or so

often redid her kitchen she liked the word rearrange

I who change my outfits every single day

different earrings each morning keep rooms the same

never redone our old apartment kitchen

but now because we are So Much Here

we ordered a keyboard even got the little bench

changed our coffee table new drapes made from old saris

I did not clean out closets because maybe

I’ll wear all these clothes one day did not give away many

books either Donations are Closed although I did

put some few maybes in a pile brought two bags

to the basement in case anybody was looking for

something to read went through them once more as I was

placing them on the laundry table found an Amos Oz

I wasn’t quite ready to give away.





Normalcy Now (COVID)

We walked down the street to an Old Italian Restaurant

their food has always been ok enough just a block away

open now for happy hour  so are all the restaurants

near our apartment  bartenders   outside happy to be making drinks

we are glad to see them I have missed meeting friends for drinks

missed meeting friends for anything the last dinner we had with people

seems years ago and there we were at Pappardella even though

we were wearing our masks still we were ordering Negronis  sitting

at a restaurant table waiting for them as though Life Was Normal and

there was even a woman across the room wearing a ski cap and a crazy

red plaid outfit she looked unfriendly still she practically

shouted at us I’m Getting Spaghetti Bolognese and we were glad for her

and left carrying very large happy hour Negronis in plastic cups

with straws to drink in the park and Peter said maybe New York will turn

into New Orleans now and we sat on a bench drinking Negronis

and it was a beautiful night in May and the world, this impossible

world, seemed almost normal and a little more OK.



Case Fresh Fruit. Unhandled. (COVID)

Handwritten sign in front of

Mazzella’s Market on Ninth Avenue

between 47th and 48th  says

Case Fresh Fruit.  Unhandled.  And

I think of how much is unhandled now.

We don’t pick our carrots at the

farmer’s market they choose for us my neighbor

Nick always gave me a kiss hello the super

now comes into the apartment with his gloves on

but inside this apartment, still bright orange,

still facing the conical turret of the Museum

of Natural History where Margaret Meade once sat,

Peter and I sit on the Vietnamese brown leather couch

watching movies, holding hands.


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