Is it hard for me to imagine New York City
without Schrafft's, full of Hadassah Ladies
fresh from a Broadway show and deciding
between the french toast or bagel and lox to
fortify them for the Long Island Rail Road trip
back to the suburban tedium we called home?
Not really (he answered with no small sense of
sadness over the inexorable ravage of time).
No harder than it is to imagine life
without my mother, without whom
Schrafft's would never have existed
as an object of mystery and reverence to me
ever present at the corner of 5th Ave and 13th St
across from the Graduate Faculty of
The New School for Social Research where
I spent two years working to cleanse my mind
of the bourgeois ideas my parents worked so hard
two instill in me.
Two years, and never once setting foot inside,
never once imagining that this holy shrine I passed daily
and the city I inhabited, and that inhabited me,
could cease to exist.