beneath Harlem there are secret rivers
maybe Lenape, maybe sacred but
the magazines only concern are how
to capitalize and caption to sensate

and romanticize how to separate us into
streets and neighborhoods color with
words such as upper homes and project
two months ago I saw you in front of Dave’s

the same smell of drain water being held
on corners as meter maids push children
across the upper east traffic these sounds
are bluesology the smokestack on the hospital

like an old accordion we are all smog
we are all of waste if Julia de Burgos
did not live on the streets if Rev. Petro
Pietri did he would speak Spanish

they will never hear the pushing of
the subway or the squeezing
of the river they will never see
the pigeon drinking from hydrant
at the river crossing we are an introspection.