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Tricks of Memory

For the late Lawrence Goldman, ever subversive

In his ninety-first year
and full regression of memory
he stands at the kitchen counter
on a snowy Manhattan morning

The music wafts from far away
floats across the ocean
across the decades
from the old city of Jerusalem
and a Hasidic childhood

He sings from the other end of life
in Arabic
of tricks and times past
the name of his song
“You stole my beautiful city”

—FDR and Grand
Lower East Side