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Poem: February in Manhattan 

I like the days that are bare, fingerprinted with secret stares that have the power to change stories into other stories each time they’re told, each time somebody decides this one’s mine and empties it out with spare change onto the coffee table to fill it with talk and muddy humming while down the street yesterday’s regrets are evaporating and taxis are skidding and everyone is dying to be touched, dying to be tucked into the creased bark of ancient trees that could never survive here, looking down at all the frayed puddle hems and wondering about all the hands hiding in all the gloves, the stopped bodies at corners counting the passing trains and buses, whispering each one permission to run them over as they grip their hands together, press their faces to the windows on a sunless afternoon and wonder why the road bends this way and not the other and why they feel suffocated when they’re staring at a blind date across the table, mispronounce the name and pass the salt and watch the stuck poppy seed grow bigger and bigger until it has its own name and family and habits, wait until the clock releases them back into the shining blur where it’s impossible to tell who’s coming and who’s going and who’s been here forever and will never leave, the whole world motionless and afraid to ask for what it really needs while always a hidden hand, wrinkled and smooth, offers a letter to anyone who will take it— one, small, life-saving sentence scrawled across the bottom of a page.

Speaking of...

  • A poem by Meggie Monahan.


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