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New York City Stalkers

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They stalked me the length of the block,
down the subway stairs,
onto the #2 train,
through the whole ride to 96th Street,
where they got off and changed to the #1
along with me.

Upstairs at 116th Street, what did I meet
but those same stalking fragrances: not sweet,
no, not those—the pungent ones that promised
pleasures beyond measure that they could not deliver
and never would.

I said a prayer to my HP,
“Please, please deliver me.
Give me strength to keep on walking
past the cafes, the markets, and the carts
with the scents that they send
stalking me.”

So, one foot after the other,
I finally reach the cover and
the safety of my own quiet flat,
with its kitchen filled with healthy food,
and herbs and spices to make it taste good,
to keep those tempting stalkers at bay
for one more day.

— Charlotte M

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