holes in my soles

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November 19, 2001

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skyscraper canyons
funnel the sky,
making it seem larger
than it was without them--
a man sits in a store
that's just shoulderwide,
in the belly button.

in a jam-packed subway
(the Q, as in question,
which is what I asked
the policeman. he replied, Q?
and, taking out a map,
took his time, slowly
unfolding it as if
there were no crime)--

in a jam-packed subway
i read about the wide
open spaces, Edward Abbey,
no friend of rampant
mechanization, he believed
we could pick & choose
our technology
and i have to agree:
there's no getting rid of everything
(unless we bomb ourselves
to bits, which is an option)
but if we hold on to it all and build
even more it won't last long--
does anyone doubt this?

as we go under the river, all
that water and rock in the dark,
i think of the tiny islands Tuvalu,
our coalmine canary, which i hear is going under fast, first
casualty of rising seas--
but we make it OK to brooklyn,
the simplest trips now tinged
with an air of uncertainty
but also renewed wonder
at the city's complexities .

for reasons not clear to me
i've fallen in love again w/ NYC--
buckets lined up
in front of corner grocery,
central park's
fruity pebblesesque leaves,
the patience of commuters
packed like sardines,
and row upon row
of illuminated windows,
the magnificent buildings
along 6th avenue
which seem to have learned
a new humility...