“ALL aboard, fill the decks:
on full steam we cruise the seas;
Sorrows, hardship left behind . . .”
Two Muslim girls walk side by side, the
winds caressing not their hijabs. Starched,
heavy cloth irritates the skin, covers the ears.
Schoolgirls. Giggling, parents arguing,
sending money back home. Patchwork Paki-flags
sewed onto backpacks.
On the Williamsburg once —
daywokers lamenting Friday’s curse,
the pickpocket of the worker.
Spanish between the bridge’s beams,
torn between music & Irish cream,
or sending money back home.
They met up near Clinton,
for a Honduran-day parade.
Money is time, time is blood:
all three, the Imperial sends back home.
Colonials keep their tongue, fly their flag,
harvest the land for the planned
Kings without scepters or subjects
are overthrown by the laborer, river-crosser,
sun-baked farmer of fallow futures.