Allentown

The city was a Tiffany blue 

faux leather jewelry box 

with a dozen compartments 

filled with faux ballerinas and pearls 

and a little mirror to check earlobes. 

She kept the city in her closet 

to visit whenever she was feeling 

cosmopolitan. 

The sidewalk hummed a tune from 1954 

(when eyeglasses and bras 

pointed the way to quick ruin). 

Decades rumbled from beneath 

layers of paved crosswalks 

-like Poe’s telltale highway, 

but the road craved a Greyhound, 

not retribution. 

A porter longed to punch a ticket 

– but there was no train. 

A woman was too busy 

to notice rain on a scurrying rat’s tail. 

The case would be shut yet unlocked 

as she imagined people inside 

running in circles but slowly, 

like licking away at a lollipop. 

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