Right off of the 7 train,
Irish Catholic schoolgirls spilling
out of Jahn's like marbles
Their plaid skirts against exposed brick
bellies full of kitchen sink

The produce stand next door
eggs .60 a dozen, milk one dollar
Now converted into a bodega
or maybe even a small
Muslim prayer room

I bought my first Zeppelin album
at a record store on 82nd
The brown paper bags, thin as bible pages
It spun on the turntable in my
parents' Tudor

The yellowing wallpaper smelled of
my mom's Virginia Slims
And sounded of my dad's Vermouth
His own liver fried
with onions, just as he liked it
After the incident
we gathered in the reception area
Stalling
Making small talk
Vaguely excited and vaguely bored

We were leaning into
Little gala tables
Covered in white linen
Raised for conversation or
Fashionable idleness

Why look who’s here!
You were slipping by
Like a noblewoman
Floating in her day-dress
so the human machinations didn't show

Why it’s been thirty years if not a day!
It’s not like you were exactly moved
My friend, your friend
barely roused you
Are you plastic?
A formally once-was?
You looked at me as if your eyes were
Marbles
Made of glass and somewhat pretty,
Just for decoration
It was hard to say in such darkness
Your darkness in particular
It may have been the suit.

I know that they’ve fêted you here before.
A king returns!
Is it the magma chamber
for your imminence?
Or a mere
Alcove?

The face doesn’t really move
Much anymore
Forever frozen in a slight smugness
Your mouth that strikes me as
somewhat meta
if that’s at all possible
And it seems to be
A bit rude
A noirish marvel
A dark star

Funny you never once looked at me really
Never said Hello
Nor Good Evening
And the things that
I could have said
Do you remember how you tried to drill a hole into a poured concrete floor
with a cheap tool
while we laughed about dentistry
as opposed to *** practices
How I tried to find a cherry picker
through the yellow pages
on a Saturday afternoon
How you quizzed me about my practice and how I played dumb
How your dealer ate my dinner when I was looking to the right

But I remained silent
bemused more than disgusted
It has been a long time and
Why would that
forgotten phospherence
be me?

I wanted to say
Did you know
that that penthouse after-party
at the
Marmont
was one of the saddest nights of my life?
I leaned over the balcony and stared at the Marlborough Man
puffing rings onto Sunset Blvd.
Desperate.
How has it come to this I asked
shocked myself
This has all gone so wrong.
I looked down upon the street
watching the rings echo
and cars swerving off to nowhere

No amount of drink can fix this night
and they killed the joint without me
being boys.
One is now dead by hanging.
I’d have preferred the other.

But here you are.
Silent
with absent eyes
after all these years
I never opened my mouth
I couldn’t seem to configure the lips precisely
I don’t know why
Perhaps they refused to comply
despite my feathery efforts.
No need.
Kristen Mitchell Dec 2018
NYC
New York and I have
pretty good eye contact.
At night,
I am sleeping on a couch,
which is not mine.
As the rain falls
from what seems to be buildings.
Most everything is illusion here.
The magic of New York.
Transparent,
monstrous.
the ideas of history
this is what leads me to you,
New York.
Now history has been vexed
into spit on sidewalks.
Now,
writers are drunken
living in cardboard boxes.
What happened?

I was given to myself
by a lady with long red hair.
I lye tired with merits
(if they are mine, certainly Gods)

Why must I prove, or
direct my passion to
unglue me and
chew concrete like gummy bears.

New York.
I am not gonna lie.
This is a junked up place
rebellious in competition
Yet, I still wear the t-shirt
I bought in the village that says
"I went to New York and all I got was this t-shirt."

They remember 911.
I say,
it's 2018 and they
and still putting pieces back together.
Emily Dec 2018
To the west was the city, towers of steel and concrete that dwarfed even the tallest man, and to the east was the end, where the air turned thick with the scent of hay and soil until you came to an ocean that stretches so far it seemed to fall off the edge of the earth. The salt burned your nose and turned your hair brittle, knotting and tangling it in the breeze that swept off the sea.

But I was not there at the end of the world, instead I had gone north to the sound. Following the twisting roads whose route I had memorized as a child. The radio playing Carole King as though an ode to my mother and the summers she drove under these same canopied trees, past houses of hydrangeas and dahlias until she reached the beach.

I sat along the fence that separated the public from the rich— where lilacs grew thick through the hedges and all I could see were the tiny huts of pale pinks and yellows and blues, a distant memory of the 60s.

The coast was a rainbow of umbrellas and mingled among the sound of the gulls crying and the waves hitting the shore was the laughter of the children and the motors of passing boats.

The cliffs of a nearby port town curved around me, a barrier from the rest of the island. And if I squinted, the grey line of Connecticut seemed almost within reach.

Cirrus clouds lined the sky, intermingling with the foggy blue that melded seamlessly into the water. I felt as thought I was underwater at times, the haze from the heat and the sun blinding as I looked up through the blue to the world above.
a testament to my summer and my favorite place
Christine Locke Nov 2018
I woke when the sun grew hot
I rode a bike with my arms out wide
I balanced on tree limbs over rooftops
And after that
My mother and her sister sang Girl Scout harmony
On the porch at night.

I picked lace flowers by the creekside
I caught rainbow fish in my hands
I rescued orphaned tadpoles
And after that
I read James Herriot out loud with my sister’s flashlight
On the porch at night.

I fished a green-tailed dragonfly from the pool
I watched its wings shimmer purple and blue
I read all my best books in one afternoon
And after that
I snuggled under blankets as jealous moths tapped the screen
On the porch at night.

I built a house of sticks and wove green leaves
I sat inside and watched a spider spin
I fed peanut butter and jelly to the shy mockingbird
And after that
I fell asleep as my brothers breathed softly
On the porch at night.
Ghostlizard Oct 2018
The rain falls, the light rises, darkness caresses the city
Passing cars and passed out pedestrians pile on
Darkness and moisture cling to what is not

Illuminated streets from billboards, street lamps, and storefronts
These passing lights fool me into thinking it is day
It is Night

Smoke from the sewers dance around me as I walk through
Will the beating rhythm of cars and shouts ever sleep?
A city that never sleeps

Colors glide over the sodden streets, through thunderous rain
A storm that beats down, hard, ambient, ever present
Inexorable tides of water from the sky

Headlights blind but never linger, as I walk my hustled step
In and around the grid that weakens the foolhardy
But rises those up, just the same

Thousands of buildings, thousands of droplets, all meeting each other
Those skyward skyscrapers are the swords into the clouds
Meeting them with their stand

New York meets everything with pushback
Umbrellas against the wet, Brutality against the poor, Sorrow against the weak
Love-hate calls to them

I stare across the river, to the skyscrapers of another world
Nothing to the majesty and soul crushing weight I get to walk under
A concrete welcome to The Jungle

All that is will be undone, those lights, those cars, those wonders
I among them fade into antiquity, my footprints lost into the washing grime
All is nothing against Time
Matilda Oct 2018
The first time I left New York
The Architecture chased me....
Screamed in stone:
“Don’t go!”
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