Sunday, February 1, 2009

The Real New York- A poem

She walked in like a model
without noticing how
the men held the door for her
or how they'd already swept her future path
on the sidewalk, of its dirt and dust
even before her present reached it

Mom says I can be what I want to be
but then tells me that's a lie
That I can try my best, but expect the worst
because usually that's what happens

Why don't we live in a house?
I ask, and she tells me
it's His fault
as she rummages through the sidewalk trash
looking for a piece of
a slice of Bellagio's Pizza

crusted liquids on her forearms
and lice in her hair
all of which have a warm place to live
but I do not

What can provide for me?
The concrete is bitter
but it is my only refuge

I've learned not to ask too many questions
and how to beg for food
though times are tough these days
and people are tense

Wall Street crashed, but
the men don't seem to be suffering
Who will bail us out?

I smell the garlic paste from across the street
but I can't taste it in my mind
only what I can imagine
dancing on my tongue
like rain and hail pelting the street

Mom looks up for a moment
in my eyes
I know she's found nothing
and she whispers that's she's sorry
then moves to the next spot

while the woman,
who is called Miss Kensington, by the doormen,
puts a painting in the front window

set on a gold easel, it sits
under the coral colored awning with the name of the place
I cannot read, printed in fancy letters above it

In their fiery reds and crisp light greens
my eyes can't help but stare
at the pieces of fruit, in solid form
untouched and whole

yet stroked by someone's brush
and waiting to be plucked
from their perfect place in the picture

And I imagine us dancing
on the tip of my hungry tongue,
Mother and I,
each holding an apple ripe and plump,
with soft smooth skin caressing our cheeks
and grazing gently our parted lips

Until she wakes me back to life
sharp like the crunch
calling me to our place
on the street, still starving
but out from the rain