True Stories of Wild Nights In New York City

My alarm went off
in an empty house.
The first words I heard were in a song….
“Why won’t you come over here?
Why won’t you come over here?
We’ve got a city to love.”

I wore those words as a dress
but when hit with the right light
I could be read by
certain people.

Before the light fell into night
I was in black lace and my underwear
in a car driven by a stranger
and a friend driven by song.
I give you
the only photographic evidence
before the phone died.
But there were pictures
snapped in my mind
that I will record here in words
before days and years
and nights and nights and nights
thieve them away from me.

She called out to us from a fire escape
on 12th Street
and we walked up crooked
and winding steps
to get to her,
my Black Lace Twin.

They came one by one
up the crooked
and winding steps
to her,
The Queen of the East Village.

She stole the prettiest colors of the city
and painted them into her hair.

We sat on her pillows
leaned in windows
shared personal art bound in books
written stories
secret songs

His smoky cigarette voice sang…
Maybe I’m tired
maybe I’m alone
and all my love
is in an envelope
that I could not send to you
when I could not fit myself in, too.

This is how we all save each other.
We’ve lived and died so many times.
And death shall not win tonight.

She found the microphone
pulled it to her
her battle cry held the room
and the room held her
I will be fierce
I will be fragile
I will be free.

On the fire escape
covered in green plastic grass
we all escaped.
The moon was our witness.
Last night, she was big enough
to hold it all.

Ten seconds to midnight
we counted down the day
we crossed over together.
Made it another day.
Made it another gorgeous day.
“good morning”….

Good Morning….
a stranger on the street
said back up to the sky

When our feet touched the sidewalk
nearing the dawn
there were roses
for strangers.
He was older
and felt
invisible, too.
She was beautiful and wasted
leaning against the brick wall
to tell her secrets to.
There was the smoking man
on break by the gutter.
There was the woman
reading in a diner alone at 4am.

All changed
by a single red rose
from a lonely deli on Avenue A.

And if they are honest
they kept to the promise that they each made…

And petals were peeled away
and strewn across sheets
in strange beds
I will never know.


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