the rivers of it, abridged

New York City skyline at night




Rosalie Calabrese


I used to smoke them, but quit
when a bad batch of hash
made me think I was about to die.

I used to kill them, dozens at a time,
the other kind that came down in droves
from the slob who lived upstairs.

Now, as I look back,
I see how much in life
has more than one meaning.



Like my sex, the VW convertible
we sold to Papi across the road
from the house in Catskill
is semi-retired. Seeing that car —
its top slashed enough times
on city streets to let the rain come in —
parked now on a scraggly lawn,
who would guess there's still enough juice
in the engine to keep an old well
from coming only in sputters and spurts?



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