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 is a recent graduate of the MFA program in creative writing at Purdue University. Poems of hers have appeared in Dusie, Phoebe, Tinfish, and 1913. She lives in Baltimore with no pets and works as a publications assistant at Johns Hopkins University.