Your 24-houred openness pulses
artificial light like an oasis
in the New York night.
Boston has many beautiful things:
rowing clubs, turkeys strolling the esplanade
and artisanal donuts,
but I miss you, New York bodega,
your consistent comfort
of coffee, regular, in paper cups.
Remember that time my bougie boyfriend came to Harlem?
We went to a big bodega up by 145th.
He said excitedly,
like an anthropologist in the throes of discovery,
“They even use their own money up here!”
I said, “Those are food stamps. How you livin’?”
He broke up with me and moved to Oregon
to design sneakers.
Bodega, mecca of American cheese sandwiches,
you taste the same all these boyfriends later.
Can I get some Raw pre-rolls,
a strawberry condom
and some evaporated milk?
All due praise
to the Geese of Fenway
reminds me to be human
even as I sidestep the shit
and whose power
can bring traffic to a halt on Boylston
in the early afternoon light
of the Red Sox’s opening day.
Nowadays, no one stops to hear a bird sing.
Instead, we google it and think we know.
These shortened attention spans are trying to
(pause, pause, pause, pause, pause)
drive me crazy.
You are my lost city of sorrow,
lost city of light,
of illuminated minds,
illuminate our hearts.
Calling all cars: hear ye! Hear ye!
We make movies of mobsters
with whom we’ve fallen in love
because we see ourselves in them:
We are the underdogs of life.
You teach me to look down
when passersby pass,
to pretend we are invisible,
but I see your hidden heart in parks,
in the corridor of London Planes that line the Charles in witness of
your sad soil, your grit and insistence, armies of wasps,
your tribalism and no-nonsense attitude.
Today I was awakened at the Fort
beneath Rapunzel’s tower,
listening to the Grandmother-wisdom of willows.
I witnessed my own mobster movie of rebellion unfolding
Thank you, thank you, thank you.
I never thought I could love you,
your fields of broken glass
where things still grow.
Four years ago
I saw a woodcock
undulating in the shade of the
massive puddingstone of Thwing Street.
Our eyes met for a second and
I thought I saw the gaze of my teacher.
The keys, hidden in plain sight.