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Max Winter

The weather is dull today
though there is no evidence of that.
Not much presented
from where I sit.
Black, white, something else.
A grid, all lines pointing
towards a tiny center.
The space between lines
grows greater
towards the edges
as if a finger
pressed down
on the city’s heart,
if there is such an organ.
If you get too close you can see
swimming pools, parking lots,
colonnades, lampposts, side streets,
thoroughfares, industries,
cars leaving, cars entering, cars making illegal turns,
and the occasional person,
or rather the occasional head,
in motion, like everything else.
The parks’ location is clear:
patches of grey
interrupted by squibs of pond-from-above.
Buildings of the same shape
travel in packs
towards or away from the center,
houses of the same shape
spill outwards,
possibly ingratiating themselves
to people on their way somewhere else.
This is all fascinating but
cannot explain the inexplicable
areas of dark near the center,
areas that must be quite large
in my crude conception of scale.
They are dark with white flecks
poking up, like grains
on blank parchment—
in reverse.
All somewhat circular,
edged by incomplete shapes:
a square with three corners,
an oval with a point,
a rectangle after a brush
with a celestial hatchet.
Two of these spots, to my count,
though the more you look, you will see
the picture is full of such areas, only
of different sizes and one thinks
different degrees of significance.
Though extrapolation like this
is painful because needless,
it is probably safe to say,
given the empirical evidence,
that the city is not at its best,
that best is in the distance,
vanishing as you approach it.

Max Winter

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