Sitting in Central Park
by Jessica Sung

I choose a bench facing west to see the sun set but it passes
without a single pink cloud or orange stripe—instead, hundreds
of floating bright yellow squares blink awake against the inked sky,
each square a couple uncorking another bottle, a student in denial
of a deadline, a cook scrubbing phantom garlic from his hands, as down
here on earth a mother runs, breathless, up to her husband and child
who have been waiting for her all this time at the bench next to mine,
as a girl marching arm in arm with her friend says I was so stressed
I had to get out of there, as a coach tells her protégé not to look
at his watch because it ruins his form but good job, I’m proud of you,
do better, as a grandma bemoans tomorrow’s canceled trip to Florida,
while two identical dogs leap toward each other, as if to say I see you,
I know you, I am you, what luck it is to find ourselves together again, here—
but with a tug of each leash they part ways forever, and in that moment
I feel it, the weightlessness of it, of what it means to finally let go.

Jessica Sung walks and writes in NYC. Her current fixations are turkey sandwiches, aventurine, and alternate realities.