Sunday, January 3, 2016

Pure Poetry: East Colfax by Taryn Browne

East Colfax
by Taryn Browne

Low riders riding on the hips of their mothers
Shoulders bustling out of straps
The borders of this town are squeezed
between tattooed arms and dancing poles
The streets are in bloom with neon lights
like cheap fake flowers bedded down
in crooked sidewalks
advertising weekly rates for rooms
with free adult movies
and written on walls the spray painted language of the streets
jagged letters written in a hurry to issue warnings
of where you are and where you should not be
if you are of another gang, another neighborhood.
Rocks roll in women’s hands as they stand on street corners
The smoke moves up and down the street sweetly
into lungs for mere pocket change
This is the street of the destitute and the prostitute
A strip of pavement that unravels through the night
under any moon in any season
where what you should not be looking for can be found
Liquor stores hang out on each corner
flickering beer lights in darkened windows
People of all nations walk this street
People of all nations live along its corridor
carving out their culture in a collage of living
The Bantu, the Ethiopian, the Middle Eastern,
the Mexican, the Dominican
And I too live off its strip
the longest street in America,
close to the beating heart of a city.

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