Welcome to New York

Roar to life
Antiphonal bastard born by hell at night in blood-red seas
Emblazoned coat of arms across a field of fire
All beauty wrapped in a sack with the bones sticking through –
If not with grace at least with gall.

Earn a buck today
on the river in the stink of the scum
and floating beer cans
all the way from Albany I’ll bet goddammit they’re so rusty; in an office
breathing phony air
drinking bitter coffee twice a day
with lungs puffing on a girder swaying
to the music beating
like a drum with dollar signs for sticks
And all the tourists wear print dresses with big black buttons.

Down by the Plaza secretaries rushing
Black smear sloppy harsh in the glare
The maid gets a five dollar fine for letting the poodle defecate on the sidewalk.

When you cross the street cover your eyes:
vomits past
Lustrous smoke for coughing
And two nuns on Madison Avenue stand waiting for the “walk” sign
Because they come from out-of-town and don’t know any better.