I am in New York.

I am on the 10th floor of an old building.

I am in my friend’s apartment.

I hear a horn. Squeaky brakes. Another horn. More horns. A siren. A loud engine.

Someone  is yelling.

My daughter is with me.

She is sipping hot chocolate.

Today we wandered the streets.

There were thousands with us…wandering.

We heard languages we did not know.

Consonants awkwardly woven between verbs.

Little pooches in Christmas sweaters,

With bells on their tiny painted toes.

They made us laugh.

Ice skating at Rockefeller Center.

Crowds so thick we could not move.

We were so cold.

Helen said her ears hurt.

I said the air felt like steel inside my lungs.

We held hands, fingers criss-crossed.

I look outside.

The digital sign on the skyscraper outside our window reads 23 degrees.

The sky is night.

We are tucked beneath a squishy comforter in a room with warm wooden walls.

On the 10th floor in my friend’s apartment.

Pajamas by 4:30.

My daughter has a fever.

She coughs.

We hear squeaky brakes, sirens and horns.

We hold hands.

Our fingers criss-crossed.

Because she is sick and it feels good to be together.

I listen.

I write.

I am.