Nicole A. Zdeb




What does ‘Marlowe’ mean? she asked.
The book in her hands had a cover
of a painted city.  The buildings
tilt in strange postures over the street.
The streetwalkers have coal eyes
and cunning.  They wear suits
without buttons.  He looked
out the window toward the river,
the bridge a thin line of ink spread
across the dusk.  Marlowe is where
this man, I, lived.  It is not like
you imagine.  The houses are flat
and the people are poor
and they think like this:
he hung his head.  I walked
its streets sometimes all night
and the buildings would turn
their backs.  I left notes
all over their backs.

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