I brought this one girl from Cali to be with me
She compared my reality with the pill in the Matrix and said she’d rather live in fantasy than to accept my truth
Stepping over crack heads and alcoholics while fighting business men for the last seat left on the train

I remained steadfast
Untouched by her ignorance
New York
The city that never sleeps
Hell of a rat race if you ask me
We walk around the city streets like laboratory mice
So set on reaching our destination that we have little time to notice the failed path of others

We eat, sleep, and sh*t New York and believe there are no others above us
I mean all the tourist love us
Texas Rangers call us “Dangerous”
West Coast living label us strangers
Down South folk pray for us
Even we don’t love us… sometimes

Yet every country girl wanna take the train to New York City
See the lights of Times Square
Munching on slimy cheese pizza
Take the train to Brooklyn where hip hop lives on every corner
Next to Trinidadians and Jamaicans
Where half of the men that’s been to jail come back claiming to be Rastafarians

New York was my first puppy love
I courted boroughs slipping and sliding through Port Authority
From Westchester to Christopher
Allowed the pier to rock me to sleep
Midnight voguing and party cruises
Crazy Nannies, GirlzParty, and The Buddha Bar

Saw Hillary Clinton for the first time marching through the Gay Pride Parade
Starbucks in the Village
I love me some Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde’s
Amy Ruth’s and Golden Crust
Shopping on Fordham
Chilling at BBQ
Down to 6th Ave bargain pricing
Backdoor shopping in the wholesale district
The best places often got closed down, too much foot traffic
Fresh flowers and crisp produce
Amish has the best fresh squeezed juice
& no, we don’t mess with the hotdogs unless we’re drunk and then we like them greasy

No one ever said that love would be easy
New York courted me with Nuyorican and Bowery
Where believe it or not, I was often too timid to speak
Was all caught up in my throat until I recited for Isaac Hayes over smothered pork chops and rice
And he said I was dope, def, nice…
Even asked me to write a song, not once, but twice
And I used to JAM in The Grove
Live R&B, Funk, and Soul
Darlene seeing Luther at the Whitney
Running into Mike Tyson on Wall Street
Slow strolling through the Smithsonian
Working down at Battery

New York was always uninhibited but what mattered to me was her authenticity
She accepted me for…. ME
No excuses needed for my gayness
All colors of the flag welcomed without hesitation
She & I could hold hands in public without fear of repercussion
Hell, we were gay by the dozen
And that was… OK
Got caught staring the first time I saw two men kissing in public
They laughed, after all they said, “It happens all the time”
And not the staring… but the kissing
There were no closets unless I created the blueprint to build them

So yes, I swallowed the pill so that I could love New York faithfully just as was
Gritty, seductive, and voluptuous
She’ll always be one hell of a woman to me


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