City air makes a man free
To cut his own throat or that
Of his neighbor across the way.
Respect for this harmony
Throbs in the glances we meet
As we descend, falling from grace,
Along Eighty-second Street,
And the Genius of the place
Uncovers his careful face,
Remarking: “You are the elite
For whom Our Lord, it is said,
Swallowed vinegar and gall
While the thorn entered His head,
And raised Lazarus from the dead
For the human coronal.
And Moses fell upon his knees,
Ashamed and frightened to command,
Whom a Hand of Fire did seize
And burned such a cry of praise
Water echoed from the sand.
Then the air was perfectly whole,
And the desert rang with laughter
That would issue from the well;
The jackal and the staring foal
Drank with ease beside their master.