Your favorites are the polar bears
Who these days have to walk on snot,
Global warming underfoot.
Snot, not snow, is now their natural habitat with climate change
And oceans rising.
The polar bears are doomed and ask you why.
The humid New York City that your arms are spread above
Like wings before you fly
To some new fantasy of yours of Mediterranean
Family happiness, which of course turns out to be
Passionately Greek tragedy pouring
Blue sky into dark clouds and it will storm.
The humid city opens up its heart
What’s needed is relief and a release
Never mind your horrible claustrophobia
In the subway in from Astoria—
Never mind that there’s Attic
Atavistic sibling rivalry at home—and a queen who’s unkind.
And dad the king always off upstate hunting.
Greek America. These vulgar bejeweled peasants are kings and gods.
But what’s with this heat wave! Are you in love?
Shudders of lightning and the smell of burning hair.
Electric magic in the sullen New York air.
Heat so intense even the cockroaches seek shelter.
This ultimate heat wave will abolish everything but air conditioning
And evil and the fear of flying.
You’re afraid of flying but you’ve made up your mind to fly.
You’re afraid that all the passengers on the planet will die.
Your determination makes the Hudson River wink
As you rise wheels-up at long last to
A sky of melting icebergs will rain down on Manhattan
When your plane lands safely back from Greece and your Greek cousins—
Back from Greek politics and debt and the unglued European Union.
The tires touch down on the New World tarmac and squeal
And all the plane applauds,
And your dreadful sister mocks,
Because you’ve almost overcome your fears…
The rain will bring relief to what
Your open arms are raised above, the way
The outstretched arms of Christ bless Rio,
Protect the poor and the police in the favelas,
Allow the Olympics to unspool its glories.
Hot rain is fatly splatting down
On Freedom Tower downtown.
The Freedom Tower downtown goes up and up.
The hot hiss of hate turns to a hush.
Don’t stop now, dearest, help us, don’t stop.
The air is fresh. The rain has stopped.
Life isn’t mostly Mozart,
But Mozart is a start, plays a part, as does all great art.
Late that night, in Lincoln Center’s outdoor plaza,
After hours of tears, your heart burst into stars.
Your beautiful dark hair is not quite black, Athena.
Your beautiful smile is not quite meek, goddess.