Why do you, newly moved to NYC, call yourselves transplants?
Did a palm reading reveal that you are tissue-soft like organs?
Is it because dependent people back home, don’t always treat you well?
So you rebel and act up, even when they do respect?
Or is it because you eagerly rush to do others good,
On a prioritized list of places on where to travel next?
Or is because you’re committed to helping the city thrive, where
others could no longer live inside this fatigued Eastern body?
Or is it because you court the prolonged embrace of this costly host
Despite the risk of being rejected after entering the party?
Or is simply that you hastily arrived overnight
stuffed inside a frigid interstate vehicle or locomotive?
Or is this all a mistake and you’re more like moles?
That have popped up in bubbles around the globe
Taking up the hill but leaving transient mountains behind
Now wishing to call NYC your home, land
A land that has changed and joined many hands
If so, just before you try to swear the City oath
let me ask on behalf of la Ciudad de Nueva York
Can you survive the surcharge of tardy subway rides?
The drunken nights with platform pizza stealing rats?
Not smiling at strangers and dodging stalkers when you do?
Maintaining the line of sight with inanimate objects?
Can you educate those former hiking legs,
to walk like you have somewhere to be?
dial 13 on the inner-surfer subway hotline,
learn how not to step on these feet?
And if you sit by empty seats,
hang up and give your mom a call
Be reminded to give it up for those that can really use it
Be reminded not to man-spread or adolescent sprawl
As you trip with headphones over ears and book in hand
Can you break the romance with ads and start to people watch?
Can you pause and see how segregated we are along these stops?
And when you do need to leave
can you get up 2 minutes before?
Say excuse me as you go,
And before exiting…
HOLD THE DOOR?
And up the steps, can you ask to carry the carriage or the bag?
Not caring for age, race, sex, religion
or if the baby is heavy
or if the buyer’s in drag?
Can you learn to feel for those you see in need and read about,
give to some in different ways but not to everyone?
Can you see famous folk drunk off meat-packing booze?
and in the same fashion, dawn
an “I want to be like them” cloak
with matching “I can care less” shoes?
Can you stop with SOBRO, FIDI, and creating more acronyms?
Can you stop with tacos are life, because your friend looks Mexican?
And on your block when it’s hot
can you not file a complaint against Mr. Frosty and Co.**?
Can you sleep through the weeknights when they’re playing dembow?
And at the new place where Yankees lay their dome
Can you watch Déjà Vu without getting headspins?
Can you bump NYC b*tche$ without feeling offended?
And when we talk about travel
Can you not talk about it as if it’s a rite of passage?
While fearing the walking living outside your surroundings?
And when you do go passed your neighborhood radius
Can you walk with confidence not entitlement? With awareness not arrogance?
And if you can answer all these things for yourself
maybe you can survive the many mallet swings of these 5 boroughs
You can go from organ, to little mole to person instead
You can call yourself a new New Yorker
Guidance by K.Wong
la Ciudad de Nueva York (Spanish for): The City of New York
** Mr. Frosty or Softee, Though noise comes with the territory, it’s fair to say that there some legitmate arguements for balancing it out, ones that can be approached with humilty not legality.
**Summer guide coming in May**