PoetryIssue 04 | April 2009

Magdalene’s Manhattan

by Elizabeth Meaney

Neo-punks with stretched-out skin
forget Columbia ballet dancers who vanish
behind lamp posts to slap hands with the Reggae bum
at the subway station where urine makes graffiti
worthwhile art and the steel-drum sound is the
thousandth language used in metro rush.
We’ve heard it all, so when the Korean
woman on Bleecker street selling Earl Jeans
with blackened tags from fifth-floor warehouses
whispers to me she’s Jesus, I don’t doubt her.
There is no savior in the city, but there are
Chanel sunglasses, five for forty, and red-skinned
Bibles, two for twelve. And the lights strung over Little Italy
drop shadows for dimebags in dark alleys through which
we walk with our hands over our skirts, shivering
with every subway-grate stiletto click until
we emerge to the whirl of Times Square and the smell
of tourist hot dogs and, charged by cell phone signals
singing off skyscrapers, blinded by
white limos and the lights of the opera house,
the city is sacred again.

About the author

Elizabeth F.A. Meaney has lived in New York, Paris, and Dublin. Her poetry has appeared in Cicada Magazine,The Furnace Review, and Ya’Sou Ezine.

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