Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsFall 2015  Vol. 14 No. 2
an online journal of literature and the arts
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The Other City

In the other city,
I left my family.
All my neighbors pity
how I stare so calmly

out my window. Across
the river, the other
city sleeps like a lost
child. They’ll wait another

year or ten or hundred
to leave. There was a boat;
I took it. Now I’m dead
to them. I donned my coat

and now I have more food
than I’ve ever eaten.
My youngest brother stood
up to police, was beaten.

I’d read the paper for
the other city’s news,
if only there were more
than body counts. I choose

to write letters that can
never be sent, to waste
afternoons making plans
that are moot. I can taste

my grandfather’s cooking
in my dreams. Deliver
them, Lord—I am looking
across a wide river.  end  

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