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A Poem About Baltimore by Cheryl Quimba

A Poem About Baltimore by Cheryl Quimba

Baltimore, You Are a Pocket Full of Copper Nails

A lot of the time I want to push people
into giant manholes then fly down
to save them, introduce myself as their
long-lost sister who has finally sold everything
to come home. They would be confused but then
so happy for having found something they didn’t know
was lost, and it would feel like a piano playing
beams of colored light against the wall.
In your poems I’m always sad and saying
sad things but in real life I say I am the mountain
sitting on this park bench, so small a microscope needs
binoculars to find me. Baltimore is filled with dirty bathrooms
but no one cares because fun is happening.
Where I live the places where
people die are marked with stuffed animals tied
to lamp posts. There is a store called Hair Strategies
and little kids push strollers filled with
cans of soda up and down the medians.
I like to cross the street like
I’m walking through a casino.
The bells are ringing and ringing
and ringing goodbye.

Cheryl Quimba’s poems have appeared in Dusie, Phoebe, Tinfish, Everyday Genius, 1913, and Horseless Review. A collection of poems, Nobody Dancing, is forthcoming from Publishing Genius, and her chapbook, Scattered Trees Grow in Some Tundra, is forthcoming from Sunnyoutside Press. Cheryl is a former Baltimorian, current Buffalonian, and her heart is with Baltimore.
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Good hair, crooked gait

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