We see a concrete jungle wired with sound.
We hear a Babylon of voices merged into one.
We awake to a vibrant city whose eyes never shut.
You live in a forest of bridges and stones.
Your trains thunder through the bowels of the earth.
Your roots stretch down deep into the stolen land.
Your horns blast out under the sun and moon.
You serve all the world’s foods in your kitchen.
Your hawkers hustle their golden bubbles throughout your streets.
Your gutters flow richly with rainbow water.
Steaming foods of the world flavor your air.
Towers of steel and glass stretch to the heavens.
The grime of life peppers your streets.
Your “pigs” in blue still brutalize the poor, the colored, the leftout.
Your thugs in blue still steal our lives from your streets.
Our righteous ones protest against the theft of our youth.
How can one so beautiful be so ugly?
Oh! New York, New York,
Perhaps your greatness rests in both your beauty and your ugliness.