Columbus Circle

Columbus Circle

Columbus never knew he’d discover 59th Street
nor gaze for a century way down 8th,
three floors up but dwarfed by Time Warner,
guarded below by
fallen angel (if not fallen, why stoop here?)
while all around, the fountains play an
illusion of cool on a 90-degree day.
Around the corner, corner terraces
deck apartments wealth affords,
offering views of Central Park, where children run
and actors practice, free from my nightmare’s
crumpled addict lying cold, OD’d on a path bench–
but that was back in ’66,
when Times Square, not far,
was full of peep shows
and little girls like me
full of gritty despair.
Central Park is safe, and nearby street flow
endlessly stutters,
eight cop cars silently flash beneath
cliffsides stony and high.
Prosperous bustle cocoons sprawling fields,
gingko fans, pine sprays, Manhattan schist,
more dogs on leads than Westminster,
more soccer games than quadrennial World Cup.
In the shadows over here, behind the holly,
a homeless man sleeps beside a red scooter.