Lexington and 83rd Street

by Bernard Henrie
Second Place, February 2014
Judged by Robert Lee Brewer

After we kiss good night
I look at my wife and hear
the rustle of a cigarette pack
though she has not smoked
for ten years, the drag of a
matchstick; the sound of her
high heels fading in the hallway
of our first apartment on
Lexington; one leg a quarter
inch shorter than the other;
she stammers slightly when
very tired and she can stay still
for five hours when reading.

She was once briefly unfaithful
and this winter when the crowd
thinned, we skated slowly round
and round at the rink under
a globe of colored glass.

Only as I type my final comments on these poems do I realize a 'leg' connection between this poem and 'Box of Stars.' Anyway, 'Lexington and 83rd Street' is the sort of love poem I can really get behind: It has a dash of grit, some bittersweet, and a gripping final image--'...we skated slowly round / and round at the rink under / a globe of colored glass. --Robert Lee Brewer

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