First world country,
City lights banish the starlight,
trees are like strategically-placed tattoos—
spindly, webby, leafy dendrites.
Cars clog the veins of the city like axons—
strung together like oblong beads—
a bunch of rosaries tossed into a box.
School buses, like caterpillars, inch along,
taxis zig and zag between the autos like bees.
Below, the subways move like earthworms
like arteries throbbing with the rush of blood.
Grease spots resemble ink blots;
chalk drawings outline macabre crime scenes
in happy colors,
as crime filters in like weeds through cracks in sidewalks.
Graffiti is scrawled in bubble letters on brick walls,
where litter skitters across the blacktop.
Soulless, mirrored windows—
geometrically arranged in the bodies of skyscrapers—
are monuments to the ideals of Howard Roark.
Heavy exhaust cuts through the smells of fast food,
and the clamor of a jackhammer jars one out of daydreams.
There is honking, and yelling, and the jam
of street performers with their mandolins and tambourines.
Then there are those who, in the name of self-expression,
mime unspeakable acts.
Gaggles of people, thirsty for sunshine like lemonade,
gather up on rooftops with their colorful, striped towels,
the only water coming from bottles,
chilling in coolers.
One has to climb many more stairs to reach
a certain level of heaven,
in this urban setting.
Patio gardens provide a bit of flora,
like different little postage stamps on the same kind of envelope.
The sounds of two different languages strike a discordant note,
as do the smells of curry and oregano.
Over coffee, the urbanites open their newspapers,
but rarely, do they read of someone they know;
there are just so many of them.
Their closest neighbors are three seconds,
rather than three miles, away.
The anonymity of the city provides a disguise
for someone looking to be lost.