Stephanie Bolster


It was practical, the elevated rails to bring the goods right
to the factories, the freight of meat, the turkeys packed and hacked
free of their heads. A few feathers stuck. It stayed
until the last train ran and after. Birds on their way
from roof to roof sat a while and shat
a small meadow up there, seeds, blooms, cast-off
stuff. Trash some wandered under and others looked
down on and a few scaled for trysts or views
of fireworks. Seedier and seedier, best done
away with. But a couple of guys saw
it made space where space was lacking, imagined
summer backs flat against a patch of grass, up at gull-
level. Did what it took (committees, etcetera) and there
it is still, planted with much of the stuff
that set up shop itself, but done with vistas
where someone wanted: 10th Avenue a scene
through glass (an amphitheatre to sit and watch
the traffic pass) or a wall of coloured glass
against which dancers dance or a stall sells
lattes and biscotti. At the end, it ends. There used to be more
but the eyesore side said no so that part had to go. Who says
they can’t go back, ship in bits of defunct track
(who takes Amtrak?) and set them up and roll out lawn. Imagine
all Manhattan bound by that ribbon? In a century or two
it’ll have gone the way of whatever else, the ostrich
say or cell phones, the hotel that straddled it parting
its legs over a void where rusted metal was. The decent scrap
long since turned to toys or parts of houses propped by brick
walls of what were factories. The Hudson still at it.