153 Street Station is clean
Down sturdy metal steps through
old Yankee Stadium field
where Ruth and Gehrig ran.
Pungent in the nostrils piss follows me
Up the hill where supers sweep trash
from yesterday’s deals and conferences
Broom bucket hose black bags.
Mothers pull young children to school
Their Diego Rivera faces
Chisled by want from old world stone
Set in the new world promise.
Adamantine trek no stopping
Climbing past the fortress courthouse
Crowded Social Service building # 145 (meth clinic)
Halal vendors hawking pastries
A lady with a cell to her ear in the lime green tracksuit shouts:
“What the **** is he to me?
If I can do what he do why do I need him to do what he do?”
Two young Black men in braids, swaying gold,
Pants down low wide-striding in step as they go,
“ Nigga says I got to stand a long time in that line. Whose line?
That’s his line not my line.
I ain’t standin’ in no long line”.
Crossing to the bodega on Morris Ave
where mi amor Juana takes my dollar twenty five
for the Schweppes Lemon-Lime
brushing by the bacon-egg-and-cheese-kids
pigeons pecking dirt
Up three flights to room 322 where
Students ask for pencils
while they tinker with the hardware on the windows.