Brooklyn Bridge View, Paul Himmel, 1950.

I was the son of a stone mammoth, standing taller than a waterfall and shining like the stars.

Long before the wheel we rode a raft along the river of the world, seeking fat animals and heavy fruit trees, venturing far from home through primeval forests. We had a soundtrack of bird song and an audience of wolves, their cubs’ eyes tracking us above wet, wheysour lips.

Our hands were as rough as our flint tools.

An echo of those days came back to me in the street yesterday, far ancestral voices asking whether this air was meant to make breath, how wind gets past these skinny mountains, where the elk graze.

“When was the last time you hunted?”

I kept walking, pretending not to hear.

“Why are you wearing those ridiculous clothes?”

The police threw a net over me in Central Park, naked but for the blood running down my chin and the feathers in my hair.

This entry is part of my journal, published January 17, 2014, in New York.