I dream back the city by Margaret Zhang

On the way to Philly, August
retreats from the cypress, fogs up the windshield,
unfolds. Here, the sky is a lantern

without oil, or the brightest dead thing
in this eroded city. Here, again
and again, I find myself

with nothing, or nothing to hide.
On downtown Spruce, a housekeeper
uncovers from the trash bin

a disposable toothbrush, worn and turning
autumn on the bristles. On the sidewalks
of Market, a young boy tries

on a pair of light up sneakers and bobbles
towards his new mother. I sing for them until
a passing gust harmonizes: Are you there

I am so dizzy      from your memory…
Music is just salvation
with texture and no pool

to fill. In this new home, the cold
follows me like a ghost with no lover. I am trying
to forget the city back home, the boy back home, how

I said goodbye through my dirty fingernails. Here,
no one is watching. I have forgotten
how to cry with no one watching.

Contributor Notes

Margaret Zhang used to go by Mar-gar-gar. She likes to waste gas, write poetry, and wander the streets of Chinatown. Read her work in Salt Hill Journal, the minnesota review, SOFTBLOW, DIALOGIST, Gigantic Sequins, and other journals. She is the Editor-in-Chief of Glass Kite Anthology and an undergraduate at the University of Pennsylvania.