48 hours in new york city.

I almost got lost in the subway, once, 
while trying to maneuver Manhattan.
I don't know uptown from downtown or east from west,
I don't know where the water is,
and I don't know why all the signs are all in a language
that's neither parsable nor true.
I almost got lost in the subway somewhere
"above" 42nd and somewhere "below" 110th,
somewhere south of where we parked the car
but north of the rest of the world,
and somewhere where my accent was distinctly "Detroit."

I almost got lost on a sidewalk where I had spoken to
too many strangers and spoken too much 
about wine, where I touched every single wrought-iron 
fence and gate all the way back to the hotel.
I almost got lost on that roundabout where I tripped on the curb,
fell over laughing, and circled around to the only open store,
the one with the man who recognized my accent,
who knew my hometown,
who understood my love
and who sold me a bottle of merlot.

underneath a skyscraper, in the ground, I almost got stuck 
in the downtown B's door when an angry newspaper-holder 
smashed his eyeglasses and I couldn't move 
out of his way. he yelled and I stared.
I almost stopped looking up, stopped looking at the lights.
I almost stopped being surprised every time the hisses
came from underneath my feet and floated up into the sky.

I almost sang in that giant train station,
I almost called that boy from Queens,
I almost wanted to stay but I KEPT dreaming of home.
and why would I stay in a city that wants to lose me,
wants to keep me grounded in only its steam?
I almost took more than 48 hours,
but almost never got me anywhere.