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Poem: An Afternoon in Larchmont, NY 

An Afternoon in Larchmont, NY

An afternoon in Larchmont, NY, where pointed heeled ladies with new teeth and saline gel pack mammary glands click down sidewalks carrying new bags of new pleasures. Silk-suited gentlemen puff clouds of bitter smelling smoke and talk of today’s commerce. In Larchmont, children play nicely together with pulsating musical phones and electronic devices. The day is long in Larchmont, the sky large and looming with big plans. I believe ideas are hatched in Larchmont, NY. I, too, am hatching something just sitting here. “I believe I’m in hell, therefore I am” wrote Arthur Rimbaud. I believe I’m in Larchmont, therefore I’m in hell. I feel a little out of place in Larchmont—scruffy in the land of the groomed, poor in the land of the wealthy, frowning in the land of teeth. A woman, fortyish, sits down beside me. She turns, throws me a large smile. It looks too large for her face. She has no wrinkles though. It’s a facelift trade-off. Her foot, trying to find rhythm, taps quickly on the tiled café floor. She’s had a lot of coffee. She is accompanied by two well-dressed little girls wearing colorful ribbons in their hair. They sport bright sneakers that light up when they step. The overcaffeinated mom, with no prompting, informs me her father is a lawyer in LA, she is a business consultant here in Larchmont, and her husband is always backing up his hard drive. “I’m sure he is,” I think to myself. If she were my wife, I’d spend a lot of time backing up my hard drive too. There are many big, smiling, foot-tapping, cigar-smoking, saline-filled, ribbon-wearing, people here. I’ll leave Larchmont, NY, soon. I’m more of a, sit-in-the-dark, time-wasting, teeth-grinding, nail-biting, wonder-if-I-should-take-my-change-to-ShopRite-and-convert-it-too dollars-so-I-may-purchase-a-snack kind of fellow. I won’t be missed in Larchmont, NY.

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  • Poetry edited by Phillip Levine.


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