I ended up under Brooklyn Bridge by accident
When I strayed from the pre-approved tourist
Migration routes up and down the city centre.
The unspoken rule was broken: I wasn’t meant to go more than
Three avenues either side of Broadway, because
Visitors weren’t meant to see the city’s dirty dishes.
I wandered under Brooklyn Bridge and found
The moraine Manhattan produced. The puddles,
The litter, the sad little shops, all grubby and shut.
The scrawny shoots growing yellow in the shade.
Grimy, green rainwater dripped down from above, the weight of
A thousand cars, a hundred thousand pilgrimages
Into the city they’ve always imagined it to be.
Under Brooklyn Bridge was where I found America.
by Daniel Squire