The Rhythm of New York by Glenda Saravisky


We step off the train, inhaling sugary,
honeyed sticky buns, knowing all through
the night someone was rolling slices of
spongy dough and sweetening these jewels
for the morning.

A swarm of suits and their
leathered worlds, clicking heeled queens
in time with the beat of passing morning 8:43
belted coats hugging wintered bodies,
headed for the stairs.

We follow the drones and queens up
the 8h Ave. stairs, to the tune of impatient
maddening frantic caretakers
of weary packaged, ribboned and bundled
pedestrians. Encased in their yellowed tanks
with their weapons of power that
startle with their “beeep, beeep,beeep!
Get outta my way!”
Rudely competing with the
rhythm of New York.

Standing in this ice crystalled hub,
sensing the tremor below the city streets.
those huge iron and steel beasts of
the underground, snaking and screeching
wheels, rumbling and grumbling ’til just
a hint of their ever steely music is heard

The ‘Center rocks an icy, frosted December.
Skaters bundled in biting winds
Swoosh, grind, rotate and spin,
Swoosh, grind, and do it again.

Ignoring the low, grey winter ceiling
we delight in the blue spruced-up
majestic tower, the result of spectacular
gardening precision, a tribute to the
diligent sowing. And our eyes reap
this glorious harvest.

Store windows, lush fairy-tale magic
with their pressed-up-against-glass
Framed, sequined, feathered, doll-like
creatures which move ever so slowly-
a blink, a smile a nod, orchestrated by
unseen mechanized puppeteers.

Night interrupts, yet we’re hungry for soul food
Down on 46th, a bit of heaven
at Ms. Barbara Smith’s,”Swamp Thang, please.”
long-tailed, fetal-shaped crustacean,
scallopy, crawfishy, collard-leafy, bobbing,
swimming in golden Dijon, spiced just right,
perfect partner this fine Merlot,
a gentle cloak which conceals the wintery chill,
unaware of the cacophony, caught up in the
rhythm of New York chatter.

I know that look –
Stepping in patchy winter’s offering
up to 51st. and Park –
Waldorf, suite 21,
we’ll spend the night.
You carry me, close the door
against the cold noise,
caress, grind, rotate and spin.
caress, grind, rotate, do it again
The rhythm continues ’til
morning comes all too soon.