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Sep 2012
Four blocks down,
A man who never gives the same name
Stands every day selling condoms
With Tiger’s face telling us to “Protect Our Wood”,
And next to him is the vendor where
I just bought my new favorite scarf.
His name is Lorenzo. He’s 6 foot 4,
Old school Italian, and after two months
I’ve yet to see him wear the same shoes twice.

Natalie played softball in high school.
She now owns a hot dog stand just outside
That I’ve seen fifty people wait in line for.
After a heartfelt conversation we had
On a certain rainy Thursday morning,
Natalie now throws me a free Polish sausage with peppers
Once in a while when I open my second story window.
She hasn’t missed once.

My one neighbor is a Latina grandmother named Sofia.
She brought her kids here illegally,
And they’ve since used their success
To cut all ties to dear old Mexico
And to her.
I eat with her once a week,
And we share cooking recipes
And small tales about life BNY
(Before New York).

There’s a homeless man downtown
Whose sign says “A quarter a day
Keeps my teeth off your leg”,
And ever since he’s proven it to me
I’ve dropped fifty cents a day,
Hoping for extra protection.

When my friends from college come to visit,
They were all curious about Lorenzo’s shoes
And Natalie’s pitching arm
And when Sofia’s daughter would show up
(Tyler had a thing for hispanic girls).
I never tried to explain, because
I never felt the need to know the answer myself.
All I cared about were Natalie’s smile,
Sofia’s homemade tortilla chips,
And how a guy like Lorenzo ended up in New York City selling scarves.
Wrote this for a creative writing class last year, and no one's read it since. i'd love some new input
Charlotte Kemp
Written by
Charlotte Kemp
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         Ash, Yuki, Traveler, Ash, --- and 4 others
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