Fall 1991 • Vol. XIII No. 4 Poetry |

City of Coughing and Dead Radiators

   Chelsea, Massachusetts I cannot evict them from my insomniac nights, tenants in the city of coughing and dead radiators. They bang the radiators like cold hollow marimbas;they cry out to unseen creaturesskittering across their feetin darkness; they fold hands over platesto protect foodfrom ceilings black with roaches. And they answer the call of the list, all evictions in court, brays the clerk. Quiet and dutiful as spectral troops returning,they file into the courtroom, crowding the gallery:the patient one from El Salvador, shoemakers' union refugee, slapping his neck to show where that vampire of an army bullet pierced his uncle's windpipe; the red-haired woman with no electricitybut the drug's heat swimming in the pools of her blue bruises, whiteskinned as the candlesshe lives by, who will move this afternoonfor a hundred dollars; the prostitute swollenwith pregnancy and sobbing as the landladysneers miscarriagebefore a judge poking his broken hearing aid;the girl

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   Chelsea, Massachusetts I cannot evict them from my insomniac nights, tenants in the city of coughing and dead radiators. They bang the radiators like cold hollow marimbas;they cry out to […]

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   Chelsea, Massachusetts I cannot evict them from my insomniac nights, tenants in the city of coughing and dead radiators. They bang the radiators like cold hollow marimbas;they cry out to […]

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