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every other man

The light outside the main entrance to our building has gone out again. The heavy metal door swings wide as I pull a hat down over my ears. In the darkness there are maybe twenty teenagers standing still. My boot scrapes across the ground, slowing down. Their hands in pockets, shoulders hunched, I look for a space to pass between them. A voice appears, saying hello in English, with an obvious accent. I am all instinct, sayingpivyet as I pass, not looking back, wondering who said this. There was a boy that was an extra in Blackbetty that lives in our building, but he is too young, too short for it to have been him.

I look back, navigating the puddles in the street. It does not make any sense.

N is with V, making their way home. I meet them, pulling V into my arms as she chatters about her day, about dry leaves and princesses, about her grandmother's apartment and what she ate there. We are going back home, and I try to explain the odd collection that stands outside. As we pass th…

Postcards from late summer

The ground in front of the bargain

wedding chapel is littered with

shiny plastic hearts and stars

and small coins. We

squat on the pavement

shoving them into

our pockets.


I bring my guitar home

and we play on the fire escape

you with your tiny, tiny

violin tucked under

your chin.

Me, playing songs from

an empty living room

before you were born

when I used to see

the towers

outside the dirty

glass of my

bachelor windows.


It’s time to buy

a watermelon now

not too big

and it needs to sound

like a drum.


They stopped

building the skyscraper

behind

our place. Maybe it’s

for offices,

maybe for homes.

A crane sits motionless above

the half-built

skeleton, in

a cloudy sky, a wet

night, a windy Sunday. But someone

had the idea to

inflate a great

red balloon inside the

structure

and put lights

inside it

so at night

it beats like a giant

heart, against the dark sky

a giant heart, counting

out the minutes

until the crane

will move, or maybe

until the

snow will come.


The leaves are already turning

yellow.



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