Poetry: Dear Mucha

It is raining in Manhattan. I am sitting in a chair overlooking 14th street and I realize you were right. I told you that people are taller than buildings. I told you that there are many green places in the city. Look at Central Park, for instance.

In the morning pink light falls across hardwood floor, spreading out like a thousand peonies, and I imagine that it is a greeting from you. But it is nighttime now, and raining so it makes no difference if I tell you a few real things. Today I saw a billboard advertising cigarettes and in a fit of frenzy went home and burned dinner.

And could you love me if I was pretty enough to be painted on your billboards? I would let my hair down long enough to collect pools of curls at my waist. I would pose naked in front of your tall landscapes and reach out with both arms pulling this city into my body.

And Mucha, the weather is all over this house.

I thought of such things while walking to a shop to buy cigarettes. In Manhattan, the streets smell like a wet cement and baked bread. It feels like the whole city is yawning. I, too, am tired of this body.

Yours, Catherine

-Catherine Bresner in Burnt District

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