New York City, April 30, 2017

★★ The sun kept leaving but, for the morning at least, also kept returning. Around midday it went away for good, and a chill descended on 42nd Street. A pigeon corpse, newly dead and gory, lay on the Botanical Garden train platform to be tripped over. Pink petals sifted down and blew gently over the roadway before being trampled flat onto the walkway by the people waiting in line at the gates. The line for the garden tram was prohibitive; more lines stretched from tent to tent where the wine tastings were being held. There were picnic blankets and some people had dressed in garden-party white under the ever-less-festive skies. The hoodies came out of the backpack. From a tree somewhere above the inbound train platform, a bird let fly a dropping that landed almost unnoticeably on the back of the younger boy’s head. The pigeon still lay on the opposite platform; a sparrow pecked at its body and came away with something in its beak. Back home, by the ice cream truck, the bright smears flattened into the sidewalk were rainbow sprinkles.