street art in brooklyn, ny

it is new york

it does not baptize you.
it doesn’t forgive you,
or challenge you
or give a shit about you.

you could be screaming at the top of your lungs
and it will still ignore you;

naked in time square
and it will not turn a head.

it tossed its garbage on the sidewalks
for everyone to see,
but it doesn’t care.
it goes on,
building castles for the rats and the stench to inhabit.
you have to walk around the filth,
and as you eye a particular bag that is big enough to conceal a corpse,
it regards you with indifference
even judgment.

“this is what i am,”
it says.
“do you have a problem with that?”

each time it slowly seduces you
with lights blazing between buildings,
with it’s somehow-sweet stench of urine and sewer
you see what it is–
a hungry liar
prepared to steal and cheat,
set on its goal of rapture
(and—somedays—simply survival).

despite its mess and smell and ill-intent,
it blinds you to anything other than the passion it holds.
in that moment, i close my eyes and swallow the smoke,
enjoying the slow numbness of my contact high.

i open my eyes to see it again
and it sees me.

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