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Tuesday, June 05, 2007


by Erika Feigenbaum

In a room full of colleagues I feel
poor and tired, anxious to get home,
where flashing neon guides me through the
crisscrossed streets and pedestrians
where unscreened, open windows frame the faces
of little boys yelling to their friends.

Two doors down a HUD house waits for sale
$26,000, less than so many cars on the road,
a college degree, or some surgery.
A white guy my age peers through the window.
I walk over to find him full of smiles and handshakes,

talking about money.
I see the house is not for him exactly—
he jokes about the neighborhood,
it’s amazing how some people will live, he says
glancing at the scrap yard behind the fence line
where stacked metal cars and oily sludge
heap at the bottom of the valley.

where white men come to laugh and invest;
where people want to forget
the stories filling front porches across yards,
between fences;
where dreams turn to meth
and litter rots the field where kids play.

I want to tell him to get his bullshit attitude
and get rich scheme back to the suburbs,
but I think I’ll start to cry, so I mumble
something about gentrification, asshole and
glance across the bridge where a sign reads
STORAGE, but I don’t see the “T” from here.

Erika Feigenbaum lives in Cleveland, Ohio where she teaches Women’s Studies and gardens with gusto. Feigenbaum's creative work has appeared in Off Our Backs, Sinister Wisdom, The Hiram Poetry Review, Hypatia, Epitome, and other publications.