Zebra on East 55th and 3rd

by Ian Humphreys

Unfazed, he grazes on popcorn and nachos
from a Keep New York City Clean litter bin,
shrouded in a canopy of cloud that leaches
through the steel bars of a subway vent.

Sneakered commuters steam by, too busy
to notice, too drunk on mobile devices.
Outside P.J. Clarke’s, a woman’s whistle
lassos a yellow cab, hoists it kerbside.

Brooklyn, she snorts to the Iraqi driver.
The zebra lifts obsidian eyes, squints
at the transaction, the tap of a Yankees cap
and brays. His tail flicks sparks of iridescence

at the dark carcass of a neon sign advertising
 old Beer by a 24-hour liquor store. It lights up.
He trots to the pedestrian crossing,
waits for walk to burn white and vanishes.