new york. creaky joints squealing
onwards and upwards
scaffoldings screaming, cranes
singing loud jazz bars subway rhythms
ring ring customer service elevator
how may i help you? sure thing!
have a good one! sunny
sing-song kettle whistle
daisy’s voice like money
jangling coins, jewelry rattle
screeching sidewalk pram-strapped infant
and obese mother’s white tee spelling
“TACOS & TEQUILA”
central park flip-flop
soles thwacking kisses smacking
hola! puta! you twaaalking to me?
stiletto heels, cuban beat
pulse throbbing boom-pow out
the car window exposed head nodding
3 and 4 and
signal change horn
blaring too fast
moan and sigh
off noodles, pan sizzles
gulp, bite, gaudy bollywood
NEXT STOP WEST 4TH STREET
bic lighter whispers to paper to brain
FROM THE YELLOW LINE
yeah man, it’s all about the hustle
all about the bustle and
the universe, man, the universe
you want a blunt?
basketball courts and old men with canes tapping
hip hop sweating profusely in the dark
club bangers at forever 21,
guzheng thick and sweet in chinatown station
grimy cash registers and coffee cups
drunk, careful tattoo needle buzz
drilling, drilling holes
out scuttles a cockroach in a dorm.
places of religion and their chaos of footfalls
heads bowed and pages flapping
are you there
god? i’m calling from new york.
left on read, left on hold, ping! tweet
tweet facebook messenger
too fast or too slow?
english lessons for sale!
NOW DEPARTING FROM GRAND CENTRAL STATION
immigrant security guard laughs like a cheerleader
border control man laughs like sorority leader
big fists and slim handshakes
shake shack. shack shake.
shaky blur stamp on your visa, kid, what you doin?
welcome to new york
you are free to go.
Image from New York Times Magazine’s Love City issue, “24 Kisses Around New York City in 24 Hours”, June 2018