Poetry: Thank You For Your Payment to the City of New York 

Thank You For Your Payment to the City of New York

Thank you for your payment
to the City of New York. Congratulations
on accomplishing
a version of good behavior

in light of the circumstances

good luck with
the ballad
about James Dean.

Have a good day.
Nice to see you

without a knife
telling the engineering
of the steerage
to your doctor

and going out
and spreading rumors
about the number
of gloryholes in our school.

We would have also accepted
"crime fighting ,"
"accident" for
having turned sixty

we will give you further points
because you have lice.

That we are familiar
with your good looks
is a result of motorcycling and
an aptitude for holding still

and all sorts
of glad-handing
in the bathroom holding

my breath under water
with the assurance with which
I always handle my nutsack.

What the floor does not describe
is for us to know

and you to find out
in a chain letter.
In view of the metropolis

in what twilight
you cannot see
if you are up so close
in the rows as the audience
applauding, the audience
should give themselves

a round of applause
for showing up
lecherous in pursuit

as they have
in other simulations of the cross.

Thank you

for your contributions to science
making the scenery recognizable
from the vantage point
of dusk raking the mountain

and the houses scattered

and young among the surroundings.

Jibade-Khalil Huffman is the author of 19 Names for Our Band and was the curator of WRONG: A Program of Text and Image, a group exhibition which recently closed in Los Angeles. He lives in Brooklyn.


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