New York could devour you,
With her concrete that itches like a too-tight T-shirt,
Sidewalks that snap you in two;
Swallow you like a pill or an orange pip.
Drains that guzzle greedily, and fast.
The dripping jowls, laundromats, cigarette butts, subway secrets passed like batons,
Trapping the city like a blanket,
Everybody dies here; they are chewed up or they are buried alive.
In an abandoned building on Liberty Island,
Two hands fumble for each other,
In the glow of sunlight and copper; under the veil of history's bride.
Two hearts beat fresh, like new meat.
A block from the city's throat,
In a Spanish restaurant,
Two lovers are tossed skyward –
All smiles and no teeth –
They shimmer like silver coins, drowning in a fountain for the price of a wish.
In the belly of a hotel with cracking growling paint,
Two feral boys kiss,
‘I'm scared,’ says the stolen dark one. ‘They say New York can devour you.’
The streets will be red with freedom's blood.
Everything here is alive.
The other boy shudders, ‘It is sunset now.’
He drives off alone,
On the wrong side of the road,
Chasing something gleaming,
The American dream in,
This carnivorous city,
The skin of his neck between its teeth.
by Megan Massey (16)
Competition - The Poetry Trials
Copyright remains with the author.