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:: Concrete and Roses by Valerie Brooks ::

Their Chagall on seventy-second and first rattles
when the "F" train makes its way downtown.
He stiffens his happy meal,
she tips "Bacardi's" pet nanny.
Front row seats tonight
and Roman is stuck on Riverside and forty-ninth.
The deep white carpet cradles her calluses,
her equally creamy white skin camouflages her token
of his proudly spent allowance.
She reminds him of the time,
he grabs for Aspirin to quiet
the migraine annoyance of that scream.
She says, "Did you know the moment we exit
the womb, the moment entropy begins?"
He softly kisses her and hands her a red rose.
Then he slams the window shut for that damn noise.
The cancer steaming near their high rise
causes the birds to sing such fatal songs.
And that girl, sounding like she
drank ipecac for lunch...
seems a man with a cruel hand and an underfed ego
tried to ask her forgiveness tonight with
a birthday cake, a tear putting out her eighteenth candle.
But it's front row seats tonight
and toasting with caviar to her fish eggs,
he applauds with one hand.

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