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Samantha Wesley Oct 2021
The boy with the curly black hair from room 1402 zippered his dark puffer jacket as he pushed the door open. The air outside was chilly, the temperature flirting with the goosebumps on his neck. He ran his right hand through his curls as he walked with intention toward the intersection, looking both ways before crossing Spruce Street. Behind him glowed multicolored lights provided by the LED setup of his fellow neighbors on floor 14.
The Financial District was always calm at night, and that’s what he loved most about it. He smiled to himself as he roamed the streets, reminiscing on the promising outcomes of nights past. As he made his way toward Stone Street, he shed the skin of Zachary Taylor and slithered into Jackson Jones. Becoming Jackson was Zach’s favorite part of his nightly routine. Jackson had a winning smile and charming personality. He had money to throw away and designer clothes. Jackson didn’t have a mother in a mental institution or a father who had ended his own life. Jackson had two sisters and a brother, and they all vacationed in the South of France. Jackson had a Summer home in Florence and a Winter lodge in the Swiss Alps.
His mantra was interrupted by a blurry figure crossing his path. A beautiful girl with light brown hair and doe eyes glanced at him for a second before blushing and continuing on her way. This would be his prey for the night.
“Hey, my friends and I are going to Mad Dogs for a tower and some guacamole, want to join?”
This simple invitation always made women feel at ease and intrigued, instead of suspicious and threatened. Zachary knew that she would join him to eat, and after a few drinks he would look at his phone and tell her that his friends had cancelled, but that he was having such a good time with her and didn’t want the night to end. He would beckon her to come see the amazing view of the Brooklyn Bridge from his dorm room and she would happily oblige.
Walking into the front lobby of 1 Pace Plaza, Zachary nodded at the security guards who returned a smirk and a subtle shake of their heads. He lived for these small exchanges, these small stamps of reluctant approval from the men who went along with his routine every night.
Towards the beginning of his freshman year, they used to stop him and make him sign each guest in with a photo ID, but they grew to appreciate his craftiness and simply let him escort a new woman into the building every night.
The girl next to him gave a small wave to the security guards and a smile. Pete, the security guard who usually high fived Zachary as he walked the girls out of the building, had a peculiar look on his face. Zachary assumed it was due to the wave his date had given them. Usually the girls he brought in avoided eye contact with the guards and followed him to his room. This girl seemed different.
Tara, she had said her name was, lived “somewhere downtown” but hadn’t specified a location, and Zachary hadn’t pressed her. After all, he didn’t need to know where she lived, or even her last name. She was just his partner for this Thursday night, or rather, she was Jackson’s partner for the night.
He had told her that he was a New York native, which couldn’t have been further from his true upbringing in Miami. He couldn’t quite remember where she said she was from, but that didn’t bother him. It was always easier when there was no emotional attachment.
Tara walked confidently toward the elevators, and Zachary wondered if she had been to the building before. Maybe she was friends with a student, or had a previous rendezvous with another tenant of the dorm tower. Either way, he didn’t want to know.
The elevator was heavy with tension, and Zach wondered if the pressure would cause the doors to pop open while rising.
A ding signaled their arrival at the 14th floor, and Zach again morphed into Jackson, opening the door for Tara, ever the gentleman. Her eyes widened as she saw the glowing lights from the city below. “Wow, this view really is romantic. How did you say you got this room again?”
Zach shifted his weight between his feet. He caught himself and steadied his nerves.
“It’s my friend’s place, I’m just watching it for him while he’s gone.” Jackson answered coolly. She nodded, seeming satisfied with his answer. Zach chuckled internally at her admiration of the view, knowing she would never see the room again after this night.
Juliana May 2021
How does it feel,
to know the secrets
of an entire city?

I mean, you can see

The handshake
for a sold deal,
a new cooperation,
a million jobs created,
another million destroyed.

How does it feel,
to see a ***** street rat,
a plastic bag of sugarcane,
vermin taking their pick
of Chinatown’s lovely leftovers?

How does it feel,
to see children
turning into fathers?

To have them grow,
hoping, praying,
that one day they’ll
be as tall as you?

That the children
will fly among the stars,
angels cursed to play tag,
for just a little bit longer.

How does it feel,
to know that one day,
your favorite will slam
his apartment door
closed for the last time,
bags packed into boxes,
driving into a tunnel,
your line of sight gone,
never to return?

How does it feel,
to know that he might
love the ocean more?
Elijah Bowen Dec 2019
sleep curved miles of patched dead boys into me like a scythe.
their quilts were not mine to sweat through,
to drench nightly with my self.
but i cried out anyway.
said i needed stained warmth more than coffins ever could.
bare as they were.
prodigal as they were.
i turn aside in bed. i sweat it out.
sleep handed me its crowded city plots and boxes of
one-way ticket disownment boiled down
to an art exhibit of photographed bodies.
black and white bodies. end of life bodies.
i tore them into manageable halves.
their varied human pieces quilted themselves together onto the floor.
their eyes floated to land at my shoes.
i stared.

yet it was sleep who drew in
the fluttering array of lost bandanas dyed with every coy color
present on the rare days here
that always smelled more like mornings,
the colors peeking like barefoot children just around the corners of their smirking, drowsy city avenues after rain.
sleep dreamt me an after hours carousel.
the revelry of skintight garbage bags
brimming over with ****** boys.
lovely boys.
boys with a gleam.
faceless baby boys with sores like eyes,
full of their junk they
treasured, fondled, kissed
the little pound of flesh that was theirs,
they gave freely, bait and tackle
to swallow whole.
dust bowl dumpling soft.
pulsing expectance.
those skins underneath you’d discover pressed to an eternity of sorts
between two slurs of the same brick,
that its nightless club grime
mumbled disco sickly to me & him.
and i’d be on my knees.
by a bed, a river, a quilt, a pew, an avenue, a grave.
whatever useless dreams may come,
i always find myself there.
already knelt in every way i couldn’t possibly comprehend.
gravely, maybe beautifully-
beside another slumbering boy
too distant from life not to reach for.
for all those lost to ***/AIDS+
ugly angel Nov 2019
Hello dark.

The walls are wet
The cave is hidden
Legs cut through black water

Via rapid movement I reveal a face in the sand, a scar in the algorithm.

A body covers itself in lavender mist

Manly, soft and asleep, his eyes are emeralds buried by the salt of life.

The mans **** transforms into the fountain of lost dreams

       His phone is dead.
        Arms cool colored and heavy

A swimmers body.

The sand reappears around his face. The grains shape into a pair of headphones arched over his skull, like the sweeping architectural feats of those ancient cathedrals.

Lights of subway tunnels devour the faces of strangers  

   Glittering rock
The Nobel breast stroke
Head above water
   Feet kick past the abyss

Our naked bodies press against one another.  dancing to the glorious choir of nothingness

a ghost of west coast dreams  

He ***** himself to sleep every night
As he waits for future/past lovers
And dreams of ugly angels
Cox Jul 2019
I stand here in the city.
The tall buildings tower over me,
And the wind cascades around me.

The children and people wear fur coats.
I wear Gucci.
They smell like whiskey and cigarettes,
But I pay no attention.

I see the lights that the city visions,
I hear the cries that the city screams.

It was perfect.  

Because I was here amongst the skyscrapers,
And within the atmosphere of life.
Desire Feb 2019
"A, B, C, D, 1, 2, 3,
4, 5, 6, 7, E, F, M
G, L, N, Q, AND R
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