Jersey City Poems

By Laura Cronk

 

*

A swirl of trash –
I’m dodging it.
A gust of nasty wind.
Now you’re about to be
even more remote.
Look at me, complete bitch
with nowhere to go.
Companion
in tan pants.
I am what to you?
My people wear sneakers
while they hunt and fish,
short perms, cuntish,
so I shouldn’t say
something is
wrong with you
because you grew up
in an asshole place.
Together we made
our way here
where the neighbor’s noise
drives you deeply inside,
where each A in my name
becomes a long pit, a grave,
where I’ve got something
in my tooth, some smudge
on my face, something off,
wrong, nothing light now.
Nothing lit up, bright, aflame.

 

*

 

*

 

Who called out to me
when my pace slowed
“Skank,” the voice said,
The razor wire
that’s around anything
nice shining in the dark.
The thing is I am a thing walking,
another nothing,
can to be crushed, bone to be chewed

 

*

 

*

 

He moistens his lips
in the street light
and waits or wait,
am I the man? I am.
Asking the price,
setting the time.
Every tank top is frayed
and too tight, summer
too deep to come out
of, every thought
overripe, so sweet
before it reeks. I will use
the two more
years I have of youth
spend thrift,
waste them, trash them.

 

*

 



 

Laura Cronk is the author of Having Been an Accomplice from Persea Books. She teaches at The New School in New York. You can find her on Twitter @LauraRCronk.

 

Featured image courtesy of Fabio Campo.