Harlem at night

Night descends upon Manhattan like a phantom.

The stars fall from the heavens,

Scattering themselves about the avenues.

Bathed in the pastry shop window’s sickly fluorescence,

I tumble down the hell-mouth of the subway station

And catch the uptown express

For Harlem.


Moonlight on the Hudson

As we emerge from underground

And make our way skyward.

The ragged man across from me sings folk songs,

Guitar in hand and desperation in his voice

While the elderly woman in the corner munches on lotus blossoms,

Her vacant stare revealing all the hardships she’s seen,

And me,

Listening to Sketches of Spain

On this “elevated” train.

© Chester Sakamoto