PoetryIssue 10 | September 2010

Macy’s, 2007

by Adam Falkner

after Ross Gay

Because rent is two weeks late for the third straight month
since May, because she is 43 and the bar down the block
he promised to return from last spring has been shut down
for months, because she looks like my mother
and all she wants is for someone to say her name
in that certain way, because new heels are not a luxury
when the manager’s attention needs keeping
(and the refrigerator needs filling), because I know
the kind of sludge that this wet city air can make
of a person’s brain in the summer – how heat
can be a convenient enough excuse for anything
and everything – I don’t even glance in her direction
when she swings a round of sharp bullet backhands
into the ear of her youngest son in the shoe aisle. 
He falls to the rough carpet in tears, bangs his head
like a racket ball against the metal shoe-sizer on the floor,
whimpers in a heap like a kicked dog. I don’t even glance
in their direction. I need some new shoes, too.

About the author

Adam Falkner is a poet, musician, high school English/Creative Writing teacher and former Michael Jackson dance-off champion – although he will probably deny the latter of those if asked. Published in anthologies and journals including decomP Magazine, The Esu Review, The Other Journal, Adam’s poems have been featured on HBO, BET, Michigan and New York Public Radio and in Time Out New York. He lives and works in Brooklyn.

Read our current issue:


Two poems by Anne Babson
Vignette, Townhouse, 9 a.m. by Troy Cunio
Night Becomes Day Over the West by Megan Foley
Yukon River Aurora by D. B. Goman
Two Poems by David Havird
Cretan Love Letter by Emily Linstrom
Holland by Rick Mullin
Fear in Kenya by Kristina Pfleegor
The Lounge Lizard by Ed Shacklee
Two Poems by Sarah J. Sloat
Night Flight by Vicki Stannard
Koinonia Farms by Alina Stefanescu
Thessaloniki, Four a.m. by Anastasia Vassos
Imaginary Oceans by Jason Warren
Two Poems by F. J. Williams

Postcard prose

It’s Salty by Kelly Hill

Travel notes

Anchorage in the Great Land by Karen Benning
The Value of Small Money by Megan Hallinan
Screensaver by Sandra Larson
Thirty Cents by Tommy McAree
Gokarna by Kate McCahill
Going Places by Rachel Miller-Howard
Susanville CA: Notes From The Road by Susan Volchok