Our umbrellas withered like sugar in the light snow,
and the avenue glittered, splintering at the Flatiron
and curtained any further north.
Manhattan was another prefecture of Honshu,
redrawn by the sober hand of Hiroshige,
the light a mere hunger for light.
It was the humbled gray Apple
of January when the storms root
and the city settles into itself like a turtle.
We were walking hand-in-hand,
open-faced to the sting of the wind
though there was none: alone and the gods
of each other’s solitude, as Rilke saw:
angel-protectors where each knew
only the other is true.