A poem about fighting the world
|She lights, inhales, and lets the serotonin rush to her head,
Lets the New York City Moment embrace her as she
Slips into a wonderfully carcinogenic whirl, her work-approved ponytail
Bouncing along behind her while the uniform black skirt lifts but slightly in the breeze.
When she slows her revolutions and her eyes, still laughing, cross my park bench,
I look away, feign fascination with my turkey-and-cheddar, bore holes in the wood
If I could.
But instead she walks away, and I exhale.
And on the downbeat, the chorus cries,
The pretty girl’s gone, no one else around but a few pigeons.
They stare blankly upward, not nearly as interested in me as in my lunch.
It occurs to me that pigeons can’t talk.
You’re not good enough.
No, the only sounds above the lacking ambience of SoHo are
The voices in my head,
The echoes of nineteen years and the people who just see a burden-
Three thousand miles and I still can’t outrun ‘em.
It occurs to me that I’d have preferred the pigeons,
Pigeons, you can shoo away momentarily.
But why would it ever have been the pigeons?
Natural laws excluding, those rats with wings don’t give a rat’s ass about
Anything but their young and their next meal, least of all
Some kid desperately trying to become someone of consequence.
Why would they bother?
They can fly.
I can read Shakespeare, but they’ve never heard of Shakespeare, and they can fly.
They can get fat off the kindness of tourists, go where they please, shit where they please,
And, well, we can get shit on, and then we call it good luck-
What else could we do?
I toss the rest of my sandwich to the birds, ceding my place and my crusts
To more eager appetites.
As I’m leaving the park, I feel a drop on my shoulder.
It occurs to me that it isn’t raining.