If You Have Iconography

By Barbara Tramonte

Then you have ladies cooking
You have large gold crescents
Peached around their heads
(On walls)

You have them
In ways that
Rats cannot
Retreat from

On the West Side Highway
E.B. White
And Roger Angell
Spilled baseball

But I am a woman
From Brighton Beach
Who loves
The way glass
Spills from within its crystal walls

The West Side Highway and
Brighton beach
Have heads
Surrounded by halos and
Gilded icons

Saint this and saint that
Celestial characters
In an alphabet of lingerie

In this fabulous city
Our diverse and teeming
New York iconography

The church, the soba, juice
The chandelier that hangs
From the sky on Sixth Avenue
The tunnels under Fifth
The way that Jackie-O
Lit Grand Central like a Cheerio
The milk of human kindness