“to New York”

coming too late into Brooklyn
four wheels & a clouded cab
the sedan is sacred to music
etched in scratched CDs
pulled from a sidedoor stack.
we’re stoned, we’re high,
& right now headlights rush by
like the last shards of late morning dew:
in flashes, striking, then no longer there.
the j. robinson highway is an arrhythmia
of pavement, of wheel-cut cracks carved
by every heartbeat, every rubber moment leading into Brooklyn.
instead of smartphones we use stars, a pulse, a guess
to the doorstep of friends who never need to say goodbye.

now we’re on the rooftop, & you, New York,
the sleepless eyes,
the steel pupils, the love of sight ––
there cannot ever be another place like you,
so many heartbeats that will never be alone –

you’re the rooftop door speaking
of new friends, warm handshakes & cigarettes shared,
smoke & stories & context about the shaking bones
of the apartment building beneath me.
it’s as if you’ll never let us know the meaning of solitude
until we close our eyes while watching the sun
bronze Manhattan’s restless face.


Photography © Glenn Bowie

Photography © Glenn Bowie


Michael Patrick McSweeney is a journalist and poet from the Greater Boston area. He loves his wife, cats and the sea, and also helps curate The Squawk Back, a semi-regular e-zine produced in New York City.

Glenn Bowie is a published poet, lyricist and photographer from the Boston area. He also owns and operates an elevator company that supplies custom-built elevators for clients from New England to Hollywood. Author of two poetry and photograph collections (Under the Weight of Whispers and Into the Thorns and Honey) on Big Table Publishing, he donates all profits from his books to various charities for the homeless and local animal shelters. Glenn is also the official photographer for the Newton Writing and Publishing Center.