The skies aren’t unrolling and gushing out here; they are sweating. So many forms of rain here in New York, I cannot describe one before the next appears. The latest, the hot-and-steamy rain, is falling this evening. As it consumes the air, it brings out smells, and then covers them with that dampness. The smell of rain. The smell of dogs. The smell of blossom. Of damp cigarettes.

Often I write of what I see. A woman dragging her dog, sitting soundly on his hind legs unperturbed, past Best Buy. A tattoo inside a waitress’s arm. Two sisters in cowboy boots in Union Square. Thousands of people pounding past, and me, cringing when my umbrella snags another.

I watch a lot here, but there are the other impressions. The sounds of earthy poems from a friend. The voices of girls on another continent. Our constant air purifiers, and the click of the air conditioner right before I am asleep. Rhubarb’s crisp wet as it is sliced. Turnstiles at the train’s exit. Dogs fighting in the hall. The sound I no longer hear—the elevator bell.

The taste of warm stew, of farm butter, of berries filling white bowls. The feel of a letterpress card.

In all of this stimulation, in everything falling down around me too fast to catch, I realize I must sift— saving in the flow, saving to run my fingers over later, to breathe in the overhanging rose petals when I’m in a tight cubicle. From the past few weeks, there have been storms, headaches, late nights. But, these are the things I will hold for a long time—-

My parents have been married 30 years—and the joy of them being together has brought my siblings and I together the past few weeks. We laugh often. I love my family.

A year ago, we were having a Great Gatsby blast. And what do you know, but a founding member of that dinner club up and got engaged! So many congrats, Ruth and Tom. We are more than thrilled—perhaps the word is exhuberant.

I will keep the memory of this weekend’s afternoon when Walker and I sat in our living room, and dreamed.

And expected? A wedding in a sea-misted town, and eating lobster dripping in butter with my cousins, and even better, introducing my husband to my inner New England. Goody gumdrops, I say!

5 Responses to Sifting

  1. Loving your writing Alie! Hope you guys are well.

    • Same to you guys, and congrats!

  2. Letterpress! The best.

    And “my inner New England”… I was talking about that last week only in far less poetic terms.

  3. Just noticed the shout out! Completely love it! Thank you :) much love xxx

  4. Ruth I assume? Very cool. Congrats to her. And super congrats to your terrific parents. Still very bummed we weren’t able to see them last trip. Maybe this fall.

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