Poet’s Corner: 125 2nd Avenue: A Poem for Sago


Pull the splinters from my eardrums

so I can hear what it sounds like when

the earth stumbles on a

Thursday afternoon

when it cracks a stranger’s

shoulder open on the way down and gasps

Wash the dirt from Friday’s eyes

and show me skinned palms and bloody knees

I’ll say sorry twice and mean it and find

band-aids along gap-toothed avenues

while you lick the smoke from my fingers and smile

Tuesday needs clean hands to disinfect and breathe

so blow the ash off my collarbones and fill them

with next door’s burning incense and indoor

voices until there are no bricks on my ankles

and we can climb

a black tower of bedroom doors and birthday presents

Up, up Thursday

it’s cold for April.

Quiet the wind and let me feel the fallen city blush

Naomi Pallas is a former reporter for the Martha’s Vineyard Times. This poem was written after the explosion in New York City’s East Village, in which Naomi had an apartment. Fortunately, all is well.