It’s not the city that’s carnivorous -
it’s the people. The man on the escalator
rubbing one out. The one spreading his arm
across the back of the train seat. The
man who shouts and leaps out at you, yelling:
”Whore. Whore. Whore.”

The city did not give them Mad Dog, it
is not culpable for the smell of garbage. A woman
on her cellphone screaming at her daughter. Dark
alleys did not make the businessman groping women
or the broken needle.

It’s not the city’s fault they’re human,
drunk or broken. It’s them. I did not ask
for the blank glass eyes of cameras. Yelling
outside my window, late at night, staring
and shrill.

None of us asked for this.