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A Poem: Like Bloody Noses 

The taste of iron when you lick blood off the top of your lip

lovesick, like New York

the subway rattling beneath your feet as you face the long way to the L

up North 5th to Bedford where the train comes in 25-minute intervals

waiting, passing a brown bagged bottle of Evan Williams to a friend from state college.

"It's the cheapest thing I could find at the corner store"

is returned with "I don't drink that brown shit."

The fear,

of not being able to eat.

So I drink instead, smoke cigarettes, and eat Cliff Bars.

11 grams of protein

enough to sustain a small animal

in this city, where all realizations are harsh.

The cold streets of Brooklyn and six months of winter,

a freak-out attack in a warm windowless basement.

"Which side of the wall is closing in?

I mean, which side of the bed do you usually sleep on?

You see, I was drunk before I met you and I don't think there is anything wrong with that."

And there isn't.

Isn't that what we do? Look at each other and buy each other drinks?

Try to impress strangers with our aspirations about being an actor?

Acting seemingly interested and faking it later?

Or splitting, after realizing both your tongues taste like whiskey,

which could make for an awkward morning after.

Awkward is a state of mind, so, just to be polite...

"You're very good looking, but expensive. I hardly have any cigarettes left and uh, your nose is bleeding."

or

"I have to get my teeth cleaned. There are dentists open this late. Naturally! It's New York!"

Speaking of...

  • A poem by Emily Greenberg.

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