Michael Angelo Tata

Today, I look like a rag
picker, but it’s all sort of
staged: the perfect CK
indigo jeans perfectly
cuffed, with the perfect
DKNY ribbed crewneck
faded just enough, with
the perfect Run DMC
Adidas high-tops,
with a perfectly grungy
denim vest from the flea
market that announces
“Soul Power” in graffiti
script above a skull and
crossbones on the back
dyed the perfect shade
of blue to clash with the
indigo in my jeans, and,
last but not least, a burnt
orange skull cap with
“Gluttony” scrawled
across it—oops, and
a clear plastic skinny belt
with a band of iridescent
glitter running through
the middle. Hustling
is chic this year!

I am sitting in Washington
Square Park and it’s
brimming with all sorts
of odd people doing
an assortment of odd
things, like talking to
themselves, or beating
their legs percussively,
or buying pretzels, or
buying drugs, or roller-
blading past the chess
players, or drinking
Coca-Cola and staring
into the vastness
of space as if it
were a blockbuster.

A bee keeps trying
to sting me, so I shush
it away repeatedly.
It’s September, and I
wonder if it knows it is
going to die. True—
I could go first.

Coca-Cola sure sounds
delish, but I have to truck
on over to the Elmer Bobst
Bibliothèque (wish it were
discothèque), and then
the gym, and then the
nightlife, so I should go.

Ciao, park revelers!
I hope somebody
paints a portrait or
writes a poem about
you, a pretty poem
buzzing along through
the cool September
afternoon with hyperactive
bumblebees getting their
kicks in before the air
grows frigid and their
only hope of survival
is to fly into Starbucks.