Monarch over Manhattan

Tiger-tinted skyfarer, you ply a course
along Fifth Avenue, seven stories high
through shifting architectural tableaus
against a glaze of smooth September blue.

You drift across tarred rooftops
slalom through antenna groves
peeping through skylights into penthouses
saluting water-tower sentinels.
You flash your frantic shadows onto spires,
taunting gargoyles as they lolligag.

You buck the shear of skyscrapers
endure the gusts from intersecting streets,
threading the serpentine winds
among monoliths of brick and steel.
You wing above Manhattan, trace the avenues
downtown, above the traffic’s bray and shriek
towards Washington Square, ever southwestward,
across the harbor, then out above the skin
of a vast and varied continent, to glide
by sight, by star, by compass of your hide.
Lone flier, primed to merge into a greater flow,
a migratory myriad in motion to converge.
Again you calibrate on your abiding goal,
to join the flutterati in the trees of Mexico.

--Tony Hoffman

(c) 1999

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