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October 2013, vol 9, no 3

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Margaret Dornaus

Circle Line

The twilight cruise is alive with language. Japanese, German, Italian, French and our guide's Bronx English. A babble of indistinguishable words vying for attention. Syllables buzzing with electricity that charges the sky before easing into the sweet release of universal oohs and aahs with each new sight. Through it all, gulls dance a mirrored tango. Hovering above theHudson's reflected surface. Chattering to no one in particular.

As we approach the Winter Garden location, the voice from the loudspeaker asks us to observe a moment of silence. A moment that stretches into the horizon. And then suddenly we're heading toward the cruise's grand finale: The Statue of Liberty. Backlit by the setting sun in an explosion of color, New York's harbor is ablaze with pyrotechnic streaks of red and yellow and orange and pink.

circle line . . .
bits of Babel drift amid
prayers in the wake