Back to Issue One.

The Distance Between Fog and Times Square



After I moved into my first
apartment, every time the phone
rang I expected it to be
the voice of a woman sounding
like slow approaching fog
or a thousand Playboy
magazines. For months
I slept alone under an old
skylight on the top floor
of a five flight walk up.
Every time it stormed
raindrops hitting the glass
sounded like a typewriter
working on another story
until there was a sixth floor.
I soon learned what was real
in the city and what was fake.
The ten-inch statue in a shop
window along Times Square
could never be the Statue of Liberty
but did turn out to be the next woman
holding up her arm to hail a cab.

Kevin Pilkington is on the full-time writing staff at Sarah Lawrence College and teaches a graduate workshop at Manhattanville College. His latest collection, The Unemployed Man Who Became a Tree, was just released.