I Am New York

by Nora

I am the East River, rushing brown and thick.
I am the roundabout in front of Prospect Park,
the dark wood paneling of old libraries.
I am the deserted weeknight street, lit by
distant shouts and midnight smokes.

I am the trees, the trees and trees and trees,
in Central Park, on the street corner,
living and dying in Carl Schurz.

I am the High Line, stretching above, within,
a part of the concrete grid,
and the purple evidence of a Hudson sunset.

I am the lingering, intent stares, and the blank, distant ones;
The dirt beneath fingernails that comes from the air;
The perfect suits that glitter too brightly.
I am the 6 going to Grand Central, to the world.
I am the Yankees, vintage striped with hot dogs;
Manhattan at dawn; falling forward, never
reaching the ground;
93rd Street covered in fallen mulberries, stained
purple and black.

I am Shakespeare in the Park, steamy golden days
in honey-dripping lines;

The children in the sprinkler, the spilled ice cream
cones on the pavement.

I am Brearley, Woody Allen and his daughter in the café at 8:00
I am 68th Street, Hunter College.
I am NY, NY, NY.

I am carrot cake at Lloyd’s, just north of 96th,
flavorful, gritty, and not too sweet.

I am, I am, I am;
I am New York,

I am home.

Queens Arts Council Program 012


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