Tag Archives: city

Hot City Sidewalks

 

before she knew

all fifty states

her father beat his fist

steady as a heartbeat

on an old screen door down the block

it was May, I think

some time for shorts

 

she squirmed in the background

a poster child of name-calling

one knee scabbed, one just plain old skinny

“your son did this” he called from the

bottom of the concrete stair

 

she looked down on us in a

nightgown on a Monday

and simply said “no”

for the boy who’d failed

the first grade three times

 

he hid, or maybe not

in his bedroom, trains and crayons

while she kicked garbage

on a hot sidewalk

 

but she was there, she held her aching scalp

from all the pulling on the

only time in history she had braids

past her shoulder blades

 

to this day

fragments of a

girl too small for

things like politics

and death

are

 

buried

 

in the smoke

that dances upwards

from a hot city sidewalk

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Filed under Uncategorized, Writing

Gritty City

 

All of this house stress has been ripping me away from my creative side…so this morning I resumed some novel work. I know I just post little clips here and there, but it’s mainly to ask for advice on snippets, rather than the whole thing. Since I am hoping to query this baby to a certain lady very soon, I’m avoiding posting it in its entirety on my blog. Regardless, here is a little ditty I wrote today; and a quick explanation.

My protagonist, Angel, and her sort-of-boyfriend-thing Jay, have gone into a part of the city unfamiliar to Angel, in search of Sarah’s (that’s Angel’s sister) jerk of a boyfriend-thing. Jay was a little nervous about taking Angel here (even though she has shown she can hold her own, as a stripper and just an all around bad-ass), and Angel even finds herself feeling a bit uneasy.

Thoughts?

It sucks? Forget it? Delete it forever? It has potential?

Happy Friday, friends. Getting tatted (again) tonight. Woo-hoo!

 

Jay squeezed my hand inside the cab. I looked over at him in the panels of light that streamed in from the street lamps, half smiling, not trying to cover the look of confusion I felt forming above my eyebrows. In the half dark I noticed the adrenaline coursing through me, and I tried to focus on finding Danny. After several minutes I peered outside, not realizing how different the scenery had become. The Christmas lights had faded into tiny speckles that appeared once every few houses. Evening shoppers were replaced with strangers bundled up in dirty jackets, spotted along street corners. There was an uneasy quiet about the place, and I realized I’d never been through this pocket of the neighborhood. I felt Jay’s hold on me tighten. Suddenly, I was worried too.

The cab stopped at a corner where the street sign was too covered in graffiti to make out the words. An old deli faced us, the closed sign still swinging in the window. The driver craned his neck toward us. “This is as far as I go.” Jay nodded and pulled some cash from his pocket. I looked over, really concerned now. He got out first, making his way to my side and offering a hand as he opened my door. I took it and he lifted me into the street.

The sour scent of trash hit me first; I hadn’t been able to smell it through the closed windows. I grew even more uneasy, suddenly thrust into the middle of this place I’d watched through a locked door minutes before. “This way.” I felt his hand pulling me again. My eyes ran over every part of my environment, taking in papered windows and empty syringes strewn on the sidewalk. “Watch your step, Angel.” It all made the jaded Southside look like Beverly Hills.

I tried to concentrate, to soak in our path if I found myself having to retrace my steps. “What is this place? Can’t believe I’ve never been here. It’s not so far from Southside….but it’s definitely different.”

“You’d never have any reason to come here.”

It warmed me, Jay’s high opinion of me. It stung, too, knowing what he didn’t know about me. I thought for a minute. “But clearly you would.” He turned, a look of indifference across his face.

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Filed under Writing