Ode to the City

To the streets of new york city!
you crack and whistle and then flow
like cherry blossoms people walk downtown
colored and burning to taste your sweaty tongue

We roam through you and within you
and climax at the step from the 1, 2, 3 onto
christopher street and out into the wildness of
unity in diversity that blossoms and grows from
haitian dancers, french music makers and
a generation of youth speaking for itself in voices around the square.

Your sky cries neon lights and seagulls and from windows
we watch taxi cabs buzz down park avenue and right through
grand central station towards uptown where eagles fly
in red white and blue shopping bags and we dance
up flights of stairs to open ourselves into centuries of reality
filling the architectural madness known as the met

Central park is lined with sunbathers and dogwood flowers
while innocence plays itself out in sailboat races at the duck pond
and I feed swans aching for the white shell of childhood to return
you, the city, hold me in my fevered anguish and
soothe the fears of vacancy, or shallow waters.

And in your deepest alleys I find peace with
sewage waste and messenger boys
and crawling into an apartment on the upper west side
I can see why the world goes in so many different directions

You transform as the numbers increase; you get richer too,
from 4th to 84th the American dream changes from
happiness in frugality to the heavy weight of the dollar bill
but walking uptown, barefoot on seventh avenue,
I see myself in every block of you.