For a while, I walked a dog named Art for a woman whose name I do not know. The woman had Alzheimers and was taken care of by a couple of Spanish women who would rotate shifts in her Fifth Avenue apartment. The old woman never spoke to me when I came in to pick up or drop off the dog. She usually just looked at me, with something like fright and reserved desperation. She never spoke. Until one day, she did.
The most memorable time was the quietest time.
I was on my way home on the J,
writing a poem in my black book,
and the boy next to me had a full beautiful sleeve
and began to sketch on a restaurant order pad.
We never spoke, we never looked,
and the woman across from us gave us those eyes
like driving slow past the first apartment you ever lived in
with someone you lost.