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October 2019 Vol. 15 No. 3

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Michelle Ortega

Let the Questions Go Unanswered

Elizabeth Street Garden, SoHo, NYC.

A Sphinx, headdress and breastplate of a warrior, guards the garden. It’s 82º in October; my daughter and I have no wisdom for the riddle, but she allows us to pass.

Vines climb nearby buildings, remind us of a cemetery in Paris. Roses strain toward the sun, bees fervent over echinacea, tiny pineapples sprout in metal urns. An iguana with a turquoise collar suns on the back of a stone lion, its thin leash drops to the owner on a bench below.

Old-bookstore scents blend with turning leaves and overripe butterfly bushes. The statue of a Grecian woman rises amid the SoHo backdrop:

delicate concrete,
one bare breast––
her dress pressed by a breeze