roamin' catholic: karin rosner

An Angel on West Twenty-Third Street

Posted on: July 7, 2011

W. 23rd Street

West 23rd Street, Manhattan, New York City

My guardian angel’s named Murray

I met him on the street today

He’s not beauteous; neither strong nor bold

His visage’s a different form that I behold

He’s tall, yes, but balding, with a potbelly, too

A Brooklyn accent’s his clarion true

No wings visible, no robes of white

He wears a plain old tee, jeans… no holy shite

God sends him in different forms to me

Whenever I need to be reminded of deeper reality


So today, like always when I need it most

Father, Son, and Holy Ghost

Gave Murray form and sent him down

To find me hiking across town

My soul was weighed down by intense sadness

I could not stop reflecting on past romantic madness

Makeup melting in the summer heat

My curls a-frizz, my pain complete

A day where my every beauty and personality flaw,

Stood out in my low self-esteem: undesirable, ugly, raw


What was it that The Guy (One or Two or Three)

Saw that made him rudely, meanly, reject me?


So, lost in bitter thought, moving down the block

My Brooklyn Angel thought to stalk

And stop me frozen in my tracks

“Can I tell ya something, gorgeous?” was his attack

“Your face is beautiful, your hair shines, too!

When God wanted a Goddess, he dreamed up you

You’re tiny and curvy, Rubensque!

You ain’t just any shiksha, you’re a real Jewish Princess!

Your beauty would make any man’s heart a-race

I wish I were the eyeglasses on your face!”


“Wow. I can’t explain how much that just meant to me!

Thank you.”  said I, smiling, blushing rosily

(I did not, while he his compliments regaled

Explain to him that I was not Jewish, but actually Episcopal’d)

“That’s the absolutely sweetest thing I’ve heard all day.

What you just said really chased some gloom away.

I’ve been sad and blue. You see my red eyes?

I think you’re my angel in disguise.”

“Could be,” said he. “You’ve seen me before.”

And with that, he disappeared behind a Chelsea door.


And so NYC girls, when broken hearts leave you vexed

Do not forget that God’s true you is your Angel’s interest.

-Karin Rosner, c. 2011


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