miraculous newyork

 

 

 

          so far from home he withers lonelinesses

          weathers united statements of this is not your country.

          he only buys clothes that fit like black fits night. his hair used

          to shine halos and  raven guides for his travels into cozy

          loves resting with inun-unan in the provinces so

          unlike manila.

 

          he misses the ugly of home, his hothouse

          where fellow muslims are pockets like anthills. even

          filthy manila provides welcome and alms in its

          fallout from dust and exhaust from a bastard history of

          being owned by most of the western world

          more welcoming than this crab-apple home the land

          of the free trade rapists keeps us all scrounging for a way

          out of the peering eyes of the city (if you see something say

          something). except for moments of connection and mutual exchange (which is

          don’t ask; don’t tell)

 

          can we ask to go home, can we tell you to leave

          ours. we all want to return to our eventual homes.

 

          newyork keeps us sweating, keeps us spending salvation

          like forging bleeding chains that bind

          us to the city. but we indomitable search for escape

          though feels like gnawing through iron.

 

          every natural law says that systems like you tend towards chaos.

          surfing the waves of immigration and visas perched on the board of ed

          i imagine newyork in any shade darker than mcdonalds and wall street.

          wilting. folks he finds buried under western tongues

          dreams hegemonic america, draws blue prints of turning

          district 32 into cebu

 

          i can feel delhi’s dry itch in the corner of my mouth, my own need for revival

          when he talks of people coming to stay,

          that in our places we don’t wither but grow

          upright to understand a stomach pat or a handshake that

          lingers upon finding each other: a natural dialogue

          that causes me to remember that newyork

          is a place where we are the miraculous.

 

 

 

 

                                                                                                      Rajiv Mohabir