Tuesday, April 21, 2015

filched welcome mats

There's a rumble in the Western sky
and I turn to find the river flooded with an orange and crimson light.
The funny thing about the city--
or, pardon me, The City--
is that you have to choose between sunsets and sunrises.

If you belong to Yorkville,
and the green and brick walk-ups,
and the stately and inane
honeycombs of buildings
housing hidden courtyards
off of Lexington and Park,
if you run along East River Parkway,
and your bodegas bleed into the Starbucks,
then you have chosen sunrise.

You get to see the sun peek up above the water,
and shine over the roofs of Queens.
Each morning, on your way to work,
you get to see a pinkish glow
color the hazy city fog,
and that little glint:
the dazzle of sunlight on river
is your allotted magic for the day.

If you belong to West Side:
to Chelsea, Clinton, Morningside,
to the 1 train,
to families with strollers,
and craggy Central Park,
to New Money,
and the ancient, swirling staircases of mammoth brownstones,
lining silent, tree-lined colonies,
then you have chosen sunset.

You wander up Broadway,
following its mysterious twists and turns,
you wander past St. John the Divine,
and you leave the Heights far behind,
until you have reached the far upper
regions of Manhattan,
another corner of another borough,
entirely unlike any other place,
surrounded by river water,
 Jersey cliffs,
and sunset.

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