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Ironbound/Fancy Poultry

Suzanne Vega

Solitude Standing


In the ironbound section near Avenue L
where the Portuguese women come to see what you sell
the clouds so low the morning so slow
as the wires cut through the sky


The beams and bridges cut the light on the ground
into little triangles and the rails run round
through the rust and the heat
the light and sweet coffee color of her skin


Bound up in wire and fate
watching her walk him up to the gate
in front of the ironbound school yard.


Kids will grow like weeds on a fence
She says they look for the light they try to make sense.
They come up through the cracks
Like grass on the tracks
She touches him goodbye.


Steps off the curb and into the street
the blood and feathers near her feet
into the ironbound market


In the ironbound section near Avenue L
where the Portuguese women come to see what you sell
the clouds so low the morning so slow
as the wires cut through the sky


She stops at the stall
fingers the ring
opens her purse
feels a longing
away from the ironbound border


"Fancy poulty parts sold here.
Breasts and thighs and hearts.
Backs are cheap and wings are nearly free.
Nearly free"

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