Hand-Built City Scene

It is night in the city. A creased white

handkerchief is the movie screen
in the shoe-box theater with its bent
marquee. Pigeons with toothpick feet
and toothpick beaks are on
the wire tree and the bent marquee,
and the paperclip graveyard gate
leading to the no name graves that rise up
on small felt hills. Across the way,
the cook makes burritos out of clay
and in a booth, a rag doll drinks gin
from a perfume bottle.
Lenses popped from their frames
are car windshields that a homeless man taps
with his pink doll hands, limping,
his bum doll foot turned all wrong.
How would you represent the sounds of planes
passing over the sandpaper beach, bags in the breeze,
people sleeping under the highway? Would you use a tangled
blue string? A bubblegum moon covered in fingerprints?
What would you build to show
the prick and sting I feel for you here,
the cotton ball bunnies driving the dogs wild,
the wail of a waking child in an upper yellow window.

–Sophie Grimes

Sophie Grimes holds an MFA in Poetry from Boston University. Her writing can be found in The Literary Review and Lockjaw Magazine, among others. Author of the chapbook City Structures, Sophie writes poetry reviews for Publishers Weekly and works for the New York City Department of Education.

Copyright 2017, Sophie Grimes

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