of feeling lucky that it wasn’t us the city ate.
Uptown and down, the indigenous
were caught in the rubble.
The phantom residents of
the instant glass towers above
were revealed and no one blinked.
Their decentralized funds erased us,
made us Dubai and Kuala Lumpur,
Kuala Dubai, gleaming and vacant.
Our rents moved to the
vigesimal system of the ancient Maya.
We were hired to play versions
of ourselves like Hawaiians,
in graffiti grass skirts dancing for CronutsTM.
My one true hero was
the mummy Buddha monk of Ulaanbaatar,
stiff but alive, dusty in his rainbow body.
I invoked him every time
a new Brooklyn asshole
decided I wasn’t from there.
I shut down cross-legged,
my skin cells flaking as the asshole tried
to move me to a museum lobby for sale.
I let the roaming coyotes do the work of
terrorizing the interlopers and the ghost rich.
The MTA pitched in with their expertise
in disorientation and abandonment.
I decided on a meeting spot
for after the temples fell,
in the uptown forests
of Inwood and Van Cortlandt.
Telepathically, I texted
the GPS coordinates to my friends,
included a map of the secret bike trails.
Sheila Maldonado summers in Coney Island and winters in Washington Heights.