Rolling Through Vondelpark

︎︎︎ Alex Bernstein

︎ May 25, 2021

A century ago
I would have been
a postmaster
dipping my bread
in the milk like covering
in carbon a planet
that’s been here forever.
The rain still
sighing in the trees,
for this occasion
I chose the socks
with creepy flamingos,
went to the spider garden
where no one knows
what a spider is.
A brief melony breeze
moves a parakeet
from what I believe
is the North.
I’m thinking again
as I ride my bicycle
like an American
of Van Gogh, one
of those painters
for whom nothing
is more abstract
more unreal than
what he once saw.
He put it into a feeling
I may never have,
he gave as a gift
his ear to a lover
who wasn’t his lover,
everyone was afraid,
he was really good
at blue and yellow.
I send my friends
a text which says
thinking partially
of you and partially
how tomorrow
will be famous.

Alex Bernstein’s poems have been published in The Adirondack Review, Hobart, Narrative Magazine, Bellevue Literary Review, West 4th Street Review, the New England Review, and elsewhere. A recent graduate of Columbia University's MFA program, he is an adjunct English professor and director of the writing center at Mildred Elley College.