Leaving Your City
Rochelle Nameroff

It wasn't as if the sky closed up again
like a diner in need of new management, the rips
in the bright red booth sealed over

with something stickier than hope. The greyish
blue sky is just flirtation, a re-run--
the kicked aside glass shards, the dogshit

of cigarette butts, the people like matchsticks--
Now she walks home to her home along Lee Street
so used to the litany of sadness

the scar tissue grows into a boot.
Somewhere in her ears there is a circuit
where clean untarnished words

wish to enter. They tell about the sun
and its efficiency of angles.
They talk of a right way

to walk about the world. To the left
of the emptied out street is a tower,
once full of water, now a reminder

of where to turn. Its fat disgraceful belly
sways high above the street, though it never
quite moves when she stays there to look at it.

Like the rest of the world's near objects
it just stands. Like her wish
to be an object, without explanation.

And her pain, that story that everyone claims
to know, let it belong to the distance,
to the horizon, to the final hint

that was always on the periphery, with its satisfied
blur, that makes everyone's mute goodbye
just another waving piece of air.

Graphic by Kelly Morris

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