Last Love Letter
This is the city of
Of the buried
Buried under the sounds of
Heavy base from passing cars
Or the screeching of
The breaking subway cars.
Or the thunder of high heel shoes
Climbing the stairs
During rush hour.
Buried under the lights emulating
From advertising screens
At the heart of the great pinball machine of Times Square.
(advertising is the heart of this city.)
Or those of a premier.
Those who have gotten their fill
Of the stars
And prefer a ceiling to an indifferent sky
have wandered beyond
the light of day
into the trainless subway tunnels
and into the fold
of the disconnected brotherhood/sisterhood
of the mole people.
This is the real lost tribe of America
Living beyond the reach of landlords
Or their thugs for hire.
Nor will they peer into the shadows
Of yet another condo.
(Their hidden jungle
Is not of the Amazon
But the Subway system
Where no natural light ever penetrates.
The soul is the first
And cheapest thing
To leave behind
I’ve heard the tribe will let you in
as long as you mind
Your own business.
There are no eviction notices at these depths
Their moon comes
With the thunder overhead
>From passing cars.)
The smells of street vendors
Piss from a drunk
Coming home at 3AM.
Or perfume from those
Who walk pretty of the east side
With silver spoons up their asses.
Their love never comes cheap.
It comes at the cost
Of turning themselves
Into poor little rich girls
Always looking for an answer
Without a question
To be used as a key to find the right lock.
They say its easier to begin at the end
When you have no direction.
Theirs’s is a love
Delivered with a shrug.
Always offering the
The proposition of sex
to the first joker???
Catholics are buried
In the guilt
For breaking the laws of a God
They can not ignore
They’ve all been marked for surrender
Since they were four
At Holy Communion.
They wear the cross around their necks
In a desperate hope of not being left behind.
Too many believe that ash across the forehead is the ticket
To a heaven nobody believes in.
All religion is theater now
For those who are willing to go through the motions
And believe they have a higher audience,
Though the seats are forever empty.
Those who wish to be forgotten,
And are certain to replace
The hopes for a headstone with that of a serial number
Marked for a pauper’s grave.
This is the wish of the shut in
To die nameless in their SRO
Or over priced
One bed room pad
In Washington Heights.
Hiding from those they wish to forget.
Hiding from what?
A psychotic lover
Whose love is serrated
And cuts too deep
Till it reaches bone.
Their home town
Which they attempted to cut the tether to
In a desperate wish for escape.
Death is what comes too cheap for most
and too soon
or too late for all others.
But if you dance forever you will never die.
Here clocks talk to each other
Of all the collected hours
by those who live by the clock
and those who can exist in confined rooms
as a natural environment
with a waiting bathroom down the hall
and one foot on the third rail
they have hearts where
The gun is always loaded
And is always pressed against
The temple of pretense and advertisement
Of surrender and of gratitude.
They turn a blind eye to the amateurs
who fear being forgotten
several stories down.
all the young performers
who attend the castrated art of acting
(castrated by who? The universities the death of art)
will play out the movies in their heads
putting on a show
for each indifferent stranger
each to each.
Till the streets are filled with cinema
from the cranial theaters.
And the great irony hits
sooner or later
every performer will sleep the sleep of the forgotten
in the miasma of shows.
After all the deals are made
And all the SROs torn down
and those of us who grow tired of waiting for the eviction
notice from the body have moved on
or held our ground
and after all New York
becomes “open for business”
every street becomes just another bizarre,
you can peer closely through the crowds
to see the better ghosts
the last of the American Tribe.
Matthew Abuelo is a writer, professional blogger and award winning poet. He has three books out, Last American Roar and Organic Hotels, His third book “The News Factory” released by Plain view Press, the first two can be found at lulu.com. He is a former journalist for the online news site Examiner and he most recently worked for the Times Square Chronicles as a housing rights journalist and political commentator.