Sunset in Paterson, New Jersey

I teach a college witting class in Paterson, New Jersey. The city, in many ways, has captivated me with its elegant grime. I need to work on the piece below, but I share it nonetheless.

Paterson, New Jersey

Sunset in Paterson

Last light
between the brick

where wet
sheets hang
from a balcony

with stale
French fries
and broken
Vodka bottles.

Below, alley mice
dart between
cigarette butts
and empty dime bags,

a broom swung
by a black woman
with swollen ankles

in a tattered
yellow robe,
mumbling about Burger King
and mouse traps

and chicken-pot-pies,
near a dandelion
that reaches through
the concrete,

its head against
the day’s
final wind.


2 thoughts on “Sunset in Paterson, New Jersey

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