Julie Rochlin: NYC, 1970

It was like your favorite treat in shiny paper
with a razor inside.

                            Holes in its pockets, and a screw loose.

The filth so thick, you couldn’t see what it was meant to be.

                            In parks, needles grew in place of flowers.
Metal swings branded children’s thighs in August heat.

Subway bathrooms were for sex, homeless hangout and drug-deals.
No one dared enter to pee.

It wanted to be cherished, dressed in curly-cue cornices and green copper.
It was a scorned lover blowing black smoke like the best femme fatale.

Everything had a worn or broken edge. A soot-stained window-sill.
                           A pigeon-scatted bench.

The Hudson River was its dump. Brighton Beach hid broken glass.
It thought it was a star but was a has-been.

                             Trees choked on tossed butts and dog shit.
It was that friend who keeps messing up but you still worship.

It was

In 1970,
              we both had potential.

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