Jayne Pupek The 2River View, 9.1 (Fall 2004)
On the Bridge with Spalding Gray

They pulled Spalding Gray from the East River today,
nearly two months since he went missing. In that time,
water washed his skin away to bone and teeth.
Only X-rays recognized him.

I paused on another bridge this evening,
leaned over the railing to toss pennies into water.
Under a lowering sun, the copper discs
glinted like fish eyes, lonely and spare.

A ghost-thin man wearing a flannel shirt and glasses
stepped out of the air and stood beside me.
“No, No!” he protested in his soft New England.

I tried to explain they were only pennies,
no consequence to me. He wrapped
weightless arms around my shoulders
and insisted he'd walk me home. “It’s not the pennies,
my dear, but the wistful look in your eyes,
and the way your body leans towards water.”

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