City People

Let’s do the things
the city people do,

sip dry martinis
and scuttle down the alleys
like cockroaches in heat,

let’s peel away the playbills
lacquered to the phone poles
like snakeskin, measuring our strips
against one another–

       look, this show’s tonight
       at Astoria on 23rd.

Pull me back from the platform
as the blue line pushes hot wind
like rotten leaves in our faces,

we’ll cozy up on rubbed raw dirty plastic
empty yellow seats, ride the L for hours,
keep catalogues of ads repeated humming all along
the tops and sides like elevator hymns–

       look, another plea to sponsor
       lonely homeless dogs thru SMS.

Let’s pull the ladder down
and clatter up the fire escape–

       you give me a boost–

let’s climb to push
past light pollution
to the roof, to glimpse
the stars, to slide our eyes
along the jagged edge
of building silhouettes
like tongues along a row
of molars, to point at tiny
city people, watching gutters,

rushing past us,
rushing under us,
rushing far away from us

to do the things
we city people
do.

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