More often than not when I’m on 7th Avenue
I see St. Jerome. There’s no mistaking him
He still looks very like the portrait
El Greco made in 1610 though his beard
Is a bit shorter and he no longer wears
The red robes of a cardinal.
When I first lived in the City
It was Woody Allen I saw. We weren’t friends
Or even acquaintances but somehow, every week or two,
He'd be walking ahead of me or waiting at a light.
The woman I married once sat behind him at a movie.
Times change. I haven’t seen Woody Allen in years;
Now I see a dejected saint, sitting in doorways.
On impulse, I approached him yesterday – a cold day
And the sky without color as it gets sometime in winter –
“The Vulgate!” I said, feeling a little foolish, “What a book!
Even Wikipedia, while denying it has much textual authority,
Admits it has great literary value.” He shook his head,
Not meeting my eyes.
A few blocks away
Around 23rd, his lion caught up with me. “Forgive him
He rarely speaks. Thank you for your words. If ever
You have need of a small miracle – especially one
Involving translations, skulls or trumpets –
You will generally find us on 7th Avenue;
It is cold north of 40th Street; seek us below.”