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I Have Mixed Feelings for NYC

Nick Powers Jun 12

 

"I love NYC", it's on his shirt but he's a tourist so fuck him.
Has he been here long enough to love the pools of piss 
on subway steps leading to the sleeping drunk, a tossed
rag-doll in the corner?  
Or the corner men, licking your girlfriend with their eyes? 
Or gunshots scattering a block party like a flock of pigeons, 
flapping arms in useless flight?
Or a mother screaming on her child as if vomiting out every 
man's touch that led to this life?
Or the continuous rumble of the trains, shattering sleep until
you wear clothes and make-up like duct-tape over a broken
glass statue of liberty?
Do you really love this city Mr. I Just Fucking Came or buying
loyalty to a commercial that my friends are paid to act in, 
serving you drinks at the new bar, new restaurant, new cafe
until the lights go off and we train it home, putting fake smiles
into the same wallet as our tips.
I have mixed feelings about New York, empire city of the empire, 
skyscrapers like thermometers of capital, filling with white fever 
for money. We scrape the boredom from anyone who can pay
and wash it off at home, watching life swirl the drain until naked 
on a roof, we reach up and  finger the infinite channels crisscrossing 
the sky, everyone dreaming on credit, stolen from the dead, praying
to fame, not asking what's on the other side of the light, or if
failure is its only fuel. 
Can he know the price of loving this city? Can any of us? I can't
but it teaches me how to smile while I'm bleeding and who doesn't
love a survivor.

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