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I am Corona...

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flushing meadows corona park, queens, ny

I'm Corona, home of all those old-time
World's Fair relics in Flushing Meadows

Some ancient tribe of white people lived here long ago.
I'm like Stonehenge or the Easter Island sculptures
made from a time when New York City and all the country
was imagining the world's future.

Back when the future still seemed exciting and glossy
like some kind of old stainless steel science fiction movie
not now when the future seems like the inside of a dark coat sleeve.

I'm Corona, under the shadow of Shea Stadium
where brown men became famous and moved to Long Island
where Muslim brothers played baseball in the tar school yards on the weekends.

Back then, our brothers' futures were so open and they were so close
they all dreamed the same dream together
that with the crack of a bat and the pull of their skinny brown legs
they could run away from the smell of garbage, the fear on the streets
the boys beating them up when they came out of the masjids in the evening.

They could hit that bat and it would land them
all the way into the safety of Shea Stadium
and then past that into the island that was long and rich
where all the baseball stars lived.

- Bushra Rehman

Credits: For the 2006 People's Poetry Gathering, City Lore and the Bowery Poetry Club invited New Yorkers to take on the personas of their favorite New York City places.