New York stands at the crossroads of the world,
ever reveling in its own frenzy,
ever frenzied by its own reveling.
The corners of the Earth collide in chaos
each time tourists skitter like rats across Times Square
while natives lose time to the crowds,
time they ration like rain in the desert—
that is, at times hoarded, but at times
left like refuse along the street in heaps.
Here, the waves of cultures crash and mix
rending the guiding ebbs and swells of traditions’ tides
and offering instead a motley tumult
of meaning scavenged from some
mangled story, maybe new, maybe not.
Against a backdrop of sultry sirens,
ever lulling a fresh victim
or else announcing one’s demise,
the players pick their parts
from scripts unseen, ephemeral,
schizoid mirages splintered across
eight million minds, and far fewer souls.
There are no stars tonight above,
they’ve been drowned all by the stars below,
and so the city drifts sleeplessly along,
twitching in fearful hope
at each airplane or firefly
that hints to condemn or justify
the wonders in New York City.