you know you are in New York City when

a dead rat with fresh
blood staining its mouth
becomes a mile marker
for your run along
the Hudson River Greenway

when greenway doesn’t
always mean green

you know you are
in New York City
but what am I

you know you
are in New York City
when you realize
your jaywalking skills
need a refresh

when the geese are so urban
and fearless

they ignore you
as they sit in the middle
of the too well-traveled path

when rivers flow
two ways and aren’t
really rivers
but tidal estuaries
and straits

when you wait and wait
on line never in

you know you are in New York City
when every living thing takes
more risks with life

death and squeezing onto a narrow island
without falling off

when all the languages
in the world
shove themselves into one subway car
and you get to participate
in the brackish hum

One thought on “you know you are in New York City when

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