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  • Palmer Smith

My Willowed City.

My Willowed City.


On West 114th Street, ankles entangle themselves

Becoming roots. Roots rot & ravage the concrete

Her fingers pinch sparkling curls

The campus grass is her dress

Erato’s statue morphs in vitam.

In vitam, she must dance.


On East 72nd Street, Erato’s back

Brushes against a velvet purple sofa

Bosoms embraced by opals and rubies

Lips quiver swallowing ash of a cigarette

Her mustached man imbibes a gin and tonic.

Erato’s thinking. Erato’s been wanting

to speak, but this man’s making her weak.

Honey, you’re too big boned, he yells

To her cheek.

Seek and ye shall find

Her alligator briefcase.

It’s her turn now. She tells

Us girls as we glide into the silver doors

Of the Lexington Avenue subway.


On West 11th Street, fondue & rose

Splash our lips as we say, I wonder

If we kept writing. Kept writing?

Kept writing instead

Kept writing to tread

Draw the Ink & be fed

We’d drink it like water

Then our heels would dig into

the feet of the men who said

We weren’t good enough

To be loved when really

It was quite the opposite.



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