what sordid mind
conceived this pit?
contagious office blocks stand sentinel, stare down
where night and day and subway meet:
walls scrawled with epithet,
they stole our freedom to hope
beds of filthy coats, picked at by rats.
lines of soles worn thin,
nowhere to go but inside
somewhere, a child’s cries are drowned.
through blood soaked tunnels
voices rise, hoarse with discontent,
slurred in heroin mist, they seek
to be alone
human beings pass quickly
with fixed stares, sidestep
this collapsed world,
where a city’s scarred come to bleed,
a bohemian congregation
who reached the gates of heaven
and found them locked.