Paths, Possibilities, and NYC

Insta-poetry. Or something.

An apartment full of boxes in Carroll Gardens
An art space in Bushwick
A mother and daughter in Central Park
A little house with a white picket fence in the suburbs

* * *

* * *

Such different life paths
From each other, and from mine
Yet New York City is like glue
Where these intersections materialize

We talk about the dance between travel and memory
Each step to both recall and reshape
In Brooklyn, the sidewalks are familiar
Yet with each step I’ve forgotten and let go

* * *

* * *

I once had a chance to live here
The MFA program I did not choose
An alternate timeline, a life in this big city
A much different now

That last line is missing a question mark
As now could be as it is
Or not at all
Living elsewhere, unmarried
Walking a path I’ve merely intersected

* * *

* * *

It’s huge, this place
In both square miles and possibility
The wandering is not only physical
But also an exercise of the mind

As the years pass
I’d think the city would become manageable
But it’s the paradox of choice
Its blocks feel even longer

I cannot wrap my head around it
Perhaps that’s why I appreciate it so
An empire state of mind
A city that will never get old

* * *

Published by Cheri Lucas Rowlands

I am an editor at Longreads. For over a decade, I've worked on curation, editing, and storytelling projects across Automattic, including

10 thoughts on “Paths, Possibilities, and NYC

  1. I love the photo-poetry combination. It looks like something I would want to print and stick onto my wall, reminding me to wander and be dreamy.

  2. I love how you have laid this out. Photos interspersed with poetic thoughts makes it much more intimate and revealing than ‘merely’ a photo gallery. I’d like to see more like this.

    And — I was with you! Why aren’t my photos anywhere near as good as this?!

  3. Lovely. I never tire of NY. It frustrates me while it engages. It is fresh, but feels like home…so many hearts have collided there.

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