Summertime City

by Roberto C. Garcia

Columbus Avenue, I'm the tense union of poor city rich city,

gentrification.  I'm slithering wealthy

slumming, pissed off.  Working class starving,

eyeing leather toe sandals at the Craft Sale.

Pricey ass crafts—pricey ass New York.


I'm not tourists, not one night onlys with Nikons or Minoltas,

I am all these residents, these—   

denizens.  We walk in each other's footsteps,

over the pilgrim roads of sidewalks;

over the merchant roads of sidewalks.


I—Stock Broker, Deli Meat slicer, student, bike messenger,

I—sweaty itchy palmed pick pocket hovering, waiting

for pedestrian closeness to create magic.

Multitude of summer dresses, long & short,

wind dresses, I'm the lover waved to, lover sought.


I'm the Brave women of the City in thongs or commando; I,

walking a dog;  I, in a sea of Ray Bans. 

I'm a door man rocking side to side in the shade, praying not to be laid off,

watching Jersey plates going around in circles & no curbside

parking.  I'm the cop patronizing black kids by the Museum of Natural History.                                                                                         

 I'm New York City summer, random acts of random, bus exhaust

rough riding on coffee beans & pretzel scents,

pizza slices, falafel, cherry flavored ices, peanuts.

            I'm all of it in the haze-hanging like a favorite song in radio static,

I'm sticky & wow—like June's first sweat.