Illustrated by Deborah Alalade.

To: The Battery
Battery Pl., State St. and Whitehall St.
New York, NY 10004

From: Anna (Fin) Muratova

I like

When people spit into trash bins,

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Not on the ground.

When smokers put out their cigarettes

On the soles of their shoes,

Not on the walls of tall, glass buildings.

There’s ash on where my sneakers

Touch the ground.

I like

When birds don’t choke

On the gum stuck to the pavements,

And when adults don’t tell the kids

To “Shut up!” or

“Be quiet.”

When the sky is the color of poppy petals

At sundown,

And when lovers kiss my neck.

I like

Wearing my red turtleneck.

In it, I feel like a real human,

A hero.

I like

How there’s only one star in the sky

Tonight,

Bright enough to split into ten separate ones.

All of them — my friends,

My stars.

I like

Looking at the city lights from afar.

You notice how they flicker.

And knowing the difference

Between alpha decay

And the eventual decay

Of me.

I like 

Being unafraid of

Mortality.

But only in New York.

And I begin to like

Staying alive,

Too.

Email Anna (Fin) at [email protected]

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