A Kiss of New York

Bright, infectious and wonderful—
The rhythm of New York is the drumbeat of the nation;
If America was to pledge allegiance to a higher ideal,
It would be to New York City:
It’s Settlers, Staples and Sightseers.

The Settlers arrive with the weight of the world.
From stitched up countries
And dying heartland towns,
They’re drawn to New York’s fresh starts.
Settlers toil to fuel for the city’s torch of hope.

Staples are trapped in the city’s maze.
They’re converted settlers with rough skin and narrow visions.
Staples feed on addictions to light and movement.
In moments of triumph and defeat, they dig into to this life.
They are New Yorkers, after all.

Everyone else is a Sightseer
Everyone hates the Sightseers.

To sightseers, this city is a movie set—
Sightseers treat landmarks like trading cards,
Oblivious to others, they collect each selfie with glee,

Sightseer’s slows everyone down.
They are the gridlock of this city.

And gridlock becomes New York’s great equalizer.
In gridlock, a limousine goes no faster than a gypsy cab
And both want to run you over.

This gridlock forces New Yorkers underground.
Each passenger a coin, inserted to turn the gears
of antiquated slot machines;
hoping to find air again on the other end of the subway.

It has to get easier.
The carousel of life keeps spinning
so fast that it’s always four in the morning
and life is just a mix of street performers
and sirens and sidewalk traffic.

The city’s a buzzing frequency.
Tune into this radio ride,
The only beat you’ll ever need
Is on the streets
Of the chaos city that never sleeps.

It’s too big to fail you.
It’s a city of second chances
That asks only that you chase something.
It wears its scars with defiance,
Never forgotten. Carrying onward
Through a maze of abundant twists.
Where wealth is distributed in small bills.
Cash only.

And you look for a handhold in its worst moments;
A lifeline each day to pull you through to the next.
Like the laughter of Children running through the neighborhood
As if every block was still Sesame Street
Amid the jungle gym city of hoops and ladders.

No one has a plan,
Everyone’s missing out;
Something’s about to happen;
New shops open and new friends appear—
You find a new place that will be yours forever,
But then your feet can no longer find it
In this ever changing landscape.

And just when you think you can’t take it anymore
You hear a saxophone in the distance.
It plays an unfamiliar song,
But it sounds like a harbor,
Just not on a block you’ve found before.
It has a new rhythm
Of promise and speed.
So you walk to that rhythm of
And you pledge yourself.

Welcome to the only thing brighter and louder than big bang itself.
Welcome to the Center of the Universe.