When I get to heaven
The thing I know I’ll hear
Is the hissing of the trees
On a heavenly day in Central Park,
Trees in a breeze seen from above
On fire with green fireworks
Of sunlight messing with their hair.
When I’m up there in heaven looking down
I’ll see the treetops of the trees
Writhing like spaghetti on the boil
And Central Park praying on its knees
To me up here.
Old age turns me into a lobster in boiling water
Screaming for help silently.
On the East Side, down one-way Fifth Avenue,
On the West Side, up Central Park West,
The police cars warble
And the fire engines toot.
A swan is eating a giraffe
And the other way around.
It’s the New York sound.
Since when did anyone ask the lobster
How it felt about the water getting warmer?
The warming water is supposed to numb the lobster.
Not that I notice.
My dark shell will turn red
When I’m edibly dead.
That’s not what anyone said.
Police are pouring down Fifth Avenue.
A man apparently has stabbed
To death a young Hasidic Jew
Outside the entrance to the zoo.
Local news programs are there now, too—
Already repeating endlessly this new
Central Park news which it turns out isn’t true.
O city infested with scaffolding
That never comes down
And botches the buildings it’s meant to save!
O covered pedestrian passageways that remind me
Of my beloved Bologna and its portici!
I lived five quarters of my life
Riding my Ducati race bikes near death there.
At night I regret
This and that I did or didn’t in my life
But it doesn’t blight delight the way
I used to ride my motorcycles
On top of witty, pretty girls.
I still stalk sex at eighty-six.
March 9, 2023
Having the Last Word