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Wednesday, August 18, 2010


by Michael Monroe

Crumpled newspapers in the
street pocked with pot holes,
gutters cluttered with garbage,
windows of houses covered with plywood,
black and white advertisements
plastered over walls and street lights,
brown faces staring from bus stops,
garage doors of metal armor
tattooed with graffiti tags
pulled down over storefronts
of pawn shops and nail salons,
murals painted on sides of buildings,
bodies sprawled on row house stoops,
soaking up the summer heat,
liquor stores on corners lit up,
breathing humanity out onto the concrete,
church nestled between row homes,
oil spots, sweat, and burnt rubber,
broken glass and cracked pavement,
sterile white mingles with brown stone,
brick red and laughter,
“Baltimore, the Greatest City in America”
painted on dilapidated benches,
lost pigeons in empty lots
where green life seeps up through trash
and broken sidewalks.

Michael Monroe's work has been published in the Loch Raven Review, Manorborn, and Poet's Ink. He also has poems due to be published in upcoming issues of Gargoyle Magazine and Lyric Poetry Magazine. Two of his poems were recorded on the Words on War CD produced by Birdhouse Studios and he often does poetry readings with Gimme Shelter Productions to raise money for the homeless in Baltimore.