December 2010 - Comments Off

Give Us the City

(for Cleo)
Jenny Rae Bailey '12

We lavished in landscapes—the Gate of All
Saints on ninety-sixth street, avenues paved in ice—
also smoked joints lounging in grassy expanses,
crouching on front stoops, or outside my
grandmother’s house. Accept our faults, among
them addiction, dependency, procrastination. Negotiate
fondly with manic tendencies to rake the eyes out
& scream. Inebriate as you contemplate
which snacks to buy from the bodega at four a.m.
What shape would form if we fused together, bone-strung,
then what kind of mistakes would we make?
The appropriate gesture is easy—too easy
leaving no one with confidence. Forget
mannered mechanics, reject the robotic talk
of here and there. Give what’s for taking like
tastes of honesty from salty skin; & find rhythm
in country evenings until we sit again nine flights
above the whirr of hybrid clean air buses.


About the Author: Jenny Rae studies literature & the properties of verse. She grew up in New York City.

Published by: in Poetry, Volume 67: Issue 1

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