grass is greener in scotland than in new york city without you

for jenni

you know those full humidity august days
hands palms open
sun pushes down hot
force
when heat exerts
with the weight of it

with the weight of it
a ferry passes by
on the hudson
passing by the ship
that is really a building
afloat in concrete

afloat in concrete
waves murk dark
as sunlight rides their crests
sunbeam river surfers
sunbeam skin pushers
sunbeam never alone in this air

sunbeam never alone in this air
if sun is gravity
wind is lateral
across nose
across water
across sweat-wet knees

across sweat-wet knees
you say rain in scotland smells of fresh cut grass
in toronto it smells of dead worms & asphalt
concentrated breeze
damp dank lawn
new york is the fifth city i miss you in

new york is the fifth city i miss you in
your baby toenail fell off this year as it does
every summer on the anniversary of it falling off in 2010 when
i made you walk from alphabet city to central park
without sensible walking shoes
concrete baked beneath our feet

concrete baked beneath our feet
in manhattan river road river
air caressing currents
currently peaceful in rockefeller park
missing you is a small violence
you know those full humidity august days

Tina Zafreen Alam is a diasporic Bangladeshi poet who is currently based in Brooklyn. Her first, and most enduring love, is music. When she isn’t listening to J Dilla or soca, she is befriending local squirrels, or looking at pictures of her niece and nephew, Amaya and Ducky.