New York

Playing 13


you won’t see
the New York in me
when i speak.

you won’t see it how i walk.

you won’t see it on the clothes i wear,
but you’ll hear it when i talk.

and you can’t sniff
the New York on me,
i’ve washed and rinsed
too much.

you might see it in my eyes
if you catch me by surprise,
you might feel it
in my touch.

i dress half my age.
my height is less than that.
i used to drink so well,
and now i’m skinny-fat.

i look south of america.
i speak midwest.
i think left of center,
but New York is in my chest.

i’ve never been
to the statue of liberty,
but i’ve seen her watching.

never know if she’s waving
goodbye or hello,
but i’ve seen her plotting.

green with envy,
she wants to get out.
everyone loves New York
until they want to get out.

but like every other girl
who’s held a torch above her head
and stood atop the ocean,
she’s stuck where she stands.
shes’s stuck.

but i’ve got New York in my blood;
the immigrant kind.

born and raised in Queens,
we left it behind.

moved upstate, lived great,
in record immigrant time.

i lived and loved
through all that i have
been assigned.

and i’ve been lucky, trust me.

i fell.

fell forward,
but i’ve always had good balance.

ask my mother,
it’s standing still
that’s always been the challenge.

always had a dream
i’d grow old around
the people i love:
all my brothers,
my friends,
my cousins.

be a man,
a father
a husband.

and we’d all gather
’round for sports.

don’t know where
or when it’d be,
but i’ll still be
cheering for New York.

“new york”
©Steven Cuenca

4 thoughts on “New York

  1. Wow man, this is amazing! As someone, an immigrant with immigrant parents, who live in New York, I can connect to so many of these things. I can relate to them very well. You expressed the experience that a lot of immigrant children have while living in New York so poetically! Thank you for this piece!

    Liked by 1 person

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