East City


Illustration by Andrew McNamara

There is a distinct line
where my city
stops smiling

let me take you east

past april pines with Christmas
lights and needles
where no sharp
stares meet
– we’re all windows
empty for rent
in hard brick

where I think
the cold mothers
must laugh,
warm arms
when the concrete
isn’t watching

where the man
in torn pleather yells
“hang it up, hang it
up” to God
or no one at all

they say you don’t see
brick like that

but they don’t cross
the dividing line
into our east