from the subway, early spring, 2000
Standing stock still as people streamed every way
around her, expertly parting as little as possible
as if she were a mere rock in a river.
Could she be weeping?
She had trained in from the suburbs for the first time
to this city of dangers told by radio.
All around her, moving fast: strange
faces, different colors, different voices,
languages she had never heard before.
She rubbed her pockets in a downward motion.
Did she find herself weeping?!?
A tissue offered
by a black hand.
She looked up into a round face,
surrounded by a blue-and-orange head wrap,
the darkest skin she’d ever seen,
blacker eyes, as kind as any she’d ever fallen into:
“Welcome to New York.”