Features

Overburden

The story is almost always the same. Every six months or so, I make the trip from Tucson back to my old neighborhood in New York and discover yet another childhood landmark gone. Some landlord or other has forced a beloved store out of business, the rent raised a thousand percent, . . .

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In the Land of Superstition

It’s where black cats tend to live longer

than their allotted nines, and we avoid

cracks in the sidewalk to ward off whatever

might happen in the whatever places

of our minds. And on certain Fridays

when the thirteenth comes around, . . .

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Love Songs for Lupus

1. Idiopathic

 

These rooms never have windows. I’m alone

and waiting, still dressed in the incessant blue

 

of their gowns. Outside this room, my whole life

swallows hard. My husband paces the waiting

  . . .

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Meditation at Decatur Square

1.

 

In which I try to decipher

                               the story it tells, 

this syntax of monuments 

                flanking the old courthouse: 

                               here, a rough outline 

like the torso of a woman 

                great with child— 

                               a steatite boulder from which 

                the Indians girdled the core 

                                           to make of it a bowl,  . . .

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Ghettoland: Exeunt

follow the morning star

 

Tell yourself it’s only a sliver of sun

burning into your chest, a cap of gold

or radiant halo justly worn by

the righteous at heart—

  . . .

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The Stones of Sorrow Lake

I pressed my face to the car window to see Jackson’s hometown, the place we’d spent all our money moving to after graduation, the place we would be stuck in. It was June, the month of green. Willows everywhere wept over houses and cars and one little girl riding her bicycle. . . .

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Float

Walk into my room and come to find one of my Jordan Air Max 360s floating about five foot off the ground. Soon as I see it, my heart kinda go pie-yow! and my neck get hot. Then I smile at my foolish, foolish dumb-ass ass, and I say to myself my brother Ricky had done strung it up from the ceiling. . . .

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Still Hunt

The American Wing of the Metropolitan Museum of Art has an airy, skylit atrium, the recently remodeled Engelhard Sculpture Court, a place overflowing with marble and curious marvels. In one corner, the Vanderbilts’ humongous hearth. Over there, glowing Tiffany windows. Catty-corner is an annexed Frank Lloyd Wright living room, transplanted entire from Minnesota. . . .

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Dear Skull

beloved braincase, body’s bleeding heart

helmet law

 

dear ribs thick with implied meat, disused central

railroad, reverse spec house unplumbed

to propitious frame

 

dear double-strung forearm, dear violin bow,

 

dear pachyderm-eared pelvis, . . .

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