Yams Elsewhere

I wouldn’t have been here long. In this metal-faced city

one is always looking past the eyes. Down and inward.

Everything around the corner. Rounding the corner could take

days. The cherry blossoms were blooming in front of the brown

project buildings. That hexagonal garden. Where the flowers

are people carrying things. Every block. Every window.

A round thing rolling across a Cartesian plane. The Dominican

doorwoman comes around the desk to hug me. She thought

I was Latino. I want simple things like yams

elsewhere. This guy from the Flatiron District says

he wants me. My last aide said she married a man she

didn’t really love. She braided my afro into cornrows

and said now you my likkle black boy. Di gyal dem

she began. And the Harlem sky bruises before

it turns black. I want a simple thing. To be somewhere else

and feather-footed and leaning off the side of my continent.