If Aunt Dorothy and Uncle Seymour had moved
     out of their two-bedroom apartment with my four cousins
 as planned, I never would have met Susan Silver,
     who lived in their courtyard, Utopia Parkway, Queens
 and grew up with Sharon and Tara, and years later
      I might not have known her at university
 or become best friends, lived together in that red semi
      on East Street next to Feeney’s Fine Foods and Drink
 with Marla, the actress who spent weekends in New York City
      with a jazz musician twice her age. The three of us
 ate only with chopsticks at a cable spool we used as a table,
      visited Dunkin’ Donuts in the middle of the night
 and found, once, a star on our receipt and won
      another dozen. We lived up the street from Mary and Albert
 with their parakeets Sonya and Raskolnikov, and Peter, the potter,
      who borrowed my Brother typewriter to write a book
 on Abstract Expressionism. I would never have heard
     that Susan met an English guy that summer while camping
 with her boyfriend in Vermont, that he would borrow a sleeping bag
      and have to return it. She would not have rung me up
 to join her in Manhattan, and I would not have said no and
      she would not have cajoled me until she convinced me to go.
 I would not have seen him standing in the doorway
      of his friend’s apartment on East 13th Street and thought Yes.

Prizewinner in the Troubadour Poetry Competition 2012