NYC Poetry

May ivy

This time of year, the ivy on red brick walls glows Kelly green,

The same shade of the summer tops aunts wear to church under cardigans.

I could never pull off a green like that, but the ivy wears it well.

NYC Poetry

By the second, my own self sinks deeper below my feet,

Lodging itself firmly into the asphyxiated earth under layers of asphalt and iron.

Like them, I wish to exist without apology –

I was only put here, after all.


A Love Letter to the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Within your walls, I’ve gone on countless wanderings. At your doors, I’ve met both family and dear friends. Is it lonely, with your halls empty, only sometimes echoing with the clicking of guards’ heels on the floor?

Your stone steps I’ve climbed dozens of times, your tall, wide halls I’ve passed through on countless occasions. As I wove my way among your statues, I grew in height, even in intellect (supposedly), and recorded my experience of your reality through pencil and camera.

Now there is nobody to witness golden Diana deftly drawing her arrow, no one to shiver at the Aztec knives and grotesquely exaggerated Oceanic sculpture. Nobody is peering into the eyes of the dead that lay in their sarcophagi, the bodies carved into wood and stone.

The outline of your Evening I have traced multiple times in pencil into sketchbooks. Now, her soft form I had once shaded goes unseen – she shields her face only from eyes of marble and bronze.

Is there no music anymore? I would imagine that the saxophone player can no longer come to your steps, playing and dancing like he did before. Where dozens of languages were spoken everyday, now there are none at all. Orchestras no longer gather on your balcony. Dancing, laughter, everything is gone.

Everything is gone.

I have only lived a fraction of your lifetime. As I grow and shrink, your pharaohs and knights will remain poised, your painted girls will still blush, and your martyrs will continue to bleed in eternal blessing.

The face of God hangs on hundreds of your walls, his glorious works you hold on display. Can I see them like that once again?

NYC Poetry

Tudor Spring

Magnolia wafts over the way from the South Park’s two trees, only one of which has blossomed.

A little fat fly buzzes past my ear,

The sycamore trees are green with afternoon –

Spring is here, for a short while to stay;

Yes, summer is coming all too soon.

Sparrows spring to perch by one another as the branches beneath them bounce –

They hop higher to the top of the tree, a burst of new life they announce.

I spy a chickadee among them on the uppermost branch –

He flutters away and leads all but one, who rests for a little while longer,

The fresh budding boughs his shroud.



Manhattan’s 42nd street on March 17, 2020 as viewed from the bridge of Tudor City Place.

This Covid-19 situation, especially in places like New York City, seems very surreal. Everything is changing so quickly – in the matter of a few weeks, many countries and some of the biggest cities in the world are for the most part shut down, with their streets slowly emptying of the normal traffic. Many people are going through difficulties with family and work because of what is being done. For the younger of us, we have never seen anything like this happen before. People are being sent home from foreign countries. We are being told to remain within our houses, away from school and work, in order to slow and eventually stop the spread of this new virus.

If many people are infected and in danger of dying, especially the elderly and others who are more susceptible to fatality from the virus, it is only right that these precautions should be put in place. And it is my inclination to believe what I am being told by my government.

But the question has briefly crossed my mind: Is this real? All the information those of us who are not directly encountering the virus receive is from online sources – from our screens. Even if this is all real – which I believe it is – it doesn’t seem too far off of a possibility that something like this could be faked. At least in a movie. That would make an interesting movie.

It’s a nagging thought once realized. It’s silly, but the current situation feels very strange. It will be a matter of time before we can see what is to come from these precautions or the lack thereof. Better safe than sorry. But right now, this feels like a very uncomfortable dream.

As my younger brother said today, “Being alive is the most surreal thing ever.”