Good Company on Murray Street
Black and white glint, still
my well-dressed rectangle
reminder of time-travel past.
Born-again business tucked beneath leagues of New
Yorkers, the honking and more honking, and Lord,
the honking and “Hey, watch where you’re goin’, kid!”
Misleading Google maps and streetlamps become
useless in our pilgrimage for that
holiest of waters, a divine
whiskey reward after the city’s humid
hug left our body’s river run dry.
At wit’s end, we gave in and spoke
to a priest alone in his church on Murray,
whose clerical robes promised SECURITY.
Roll away the boulder, right this way,
the staircase down, he said,
its thin descension beckoning.
For below, squinted eyes revealed
in God’s basement a speakeasy
lingering casually under a haze of dim
secrecy, teeming bow ties and boot
leg gin cocktails, the suspenders tinkling happy-go-
lucky harmony behind a drum and double-bass choir
leading the congregation to salvation in a cup,
confessing our sins in exchange for seven hail
bloody Mary’s. Then our communion the blood
of Christ in raised glasses, cheering
“Amen,” speaking easy because we’d been
baptized in an August evening, a Silver
Lining in Good Company on Murray Street.
-Tyler Pursch, 2015