She Stands In New York Harbor

She stands in New York Harbor,
where once She greeted those
who came by ship from Europe,
from the Old World to the New.

She stands in New York Harbor,
and has hardly heard a word
spoken in Algonquian
since She gleamed bright-penny hue.

She stands in New York Harbor,
near to Brooklyn, Newark, and
the Bronx: elites of coastal cities—
clearly haven’t got a clue.

She stands in New York Harbor,
and She thinks upon the words
inscribed there at Her feet,
for all the world to view.

She stands in New York Harbor,
Her lamp aloft beside—
is it a golden door?
Can poor brown folks come through?

She stands in New York Harbor,
and thinks that blood runs red
from queer and straight alike,
from trans and cis, from goy and Jew.

She stands in New York Harbor,
and realizes how white
the children are of those
that Ellis Island welcomed through.

She stands in New York Harbor,
a melancholic blue,
and She wonders if the name
of “Liberty” is true.

She stands in New York Harbor,
where once the Poet Laureate
was wise-one Audre Lorde,
who knows what we must do.

She stands in New York Harbor—
did Jefferson set sail
from here to France? Did Sally?
What are we to construe?

She stands in New York Harbor,
overlooking Stonewall Inn:
“What signify a few lives lost
in a century or two?”

She stands in New York Harbor,
reflecting on the truth
of the “tree of liberty”’s
manure and poisoned root.

She stands in New York Harbor,
and refuses to despair.
She’s here for all; She will be,
though that wasn’t always true.
Some find in certain famous words
there’s justice to pursue.
The Declaration? Why, it’s still
there in DC for all to view!

 

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