Uptown Poetry: Washington Heights – The Beautiful

BY K.R.M. (@_KayeRenee)

NoMAA-Dister-Washington Heights

(Photo: Briana E. Heard)

So we collectively agree that the streets aren’t that mean and there’s culture to see,
Our hallways aren’t pristine but the running water is clean,
and every corner doesn’t house an illiterate drug fiend?
The Uptown that they described isn’t the one I’m calling home,
“Be careful you know, women aren’t safe up there alone.”
But most of the women I meet sell the best things on the street, walks kids to the bus and take the train to work with me.
I’d qualify them as fine, and the men I don’t mind, they spend most of their time politicking outside.
Play dominoes so loud that some nights I can’t sleep, block the entrance to the buildings using stoops as their seats.
But the activities in my ‘hood are quite comforting to me, I’ll take a restless night and endless excuse me’s.
That just means that my neighbors aren’t running from police, and the hallways filled with laughter sound like happy families.
There’s that man by the A train, everyday he yells to me, hola negrita! blah blah blah…
with a smile from cheek to cheek.
I blush and walk past, smile and a wave, look forward to him everyday.
Once the train hits my stop, take the stairs to the top and I’m home…Washington Heights, USA.


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