“Man, to be critic, must be connoisseur.”
—Anna Wickham, “XXXVI Friend Cato”
Since I ran around Central Park
the park has shrunk.
I was proud of my hard-bitten body,
but the cost of victory!
When we watched Amarcord,
Fellini’s small-town record,
you complained that it did not have a plot.
I couldn’t tell if you were serious or not.
I explained the rounds of sex and seasons.
You were not persuaded by reasons
I saw I could run rings around you.
I was in danger
of thinking you a stranger
when I remembered you walking into the heart of the park with me
and identifying the tulip tree.
How reckless I was to figure
that a park equals its perimeter,
just because I ran around it
for a bit.