PoetryIssue 13 | September 2011

Renewing My Passport

by Michael Young

Every day I have to decide when to cut over
to Broadway, as if choosing a theme,
maybe the expedient dash up Fulton Street
bordered by the iron fence of St. Paul’s Church,
gravestones blinking through the posts.
But with no way to dodge the crowds,
Cortlandt Street suggests a way between
the polished granite of Century 21
and Liberty Plaza’s silver skyscraper,
its vitreous wall seeming to slide with shoppers.
When the days are liquid, it’s best to pass on,
if only to the next block, where I can take
a diagonal across Zuccotti Park, idiosyncratic
except when passed under the legs
of its Joie de Vivre sculpture, red and angled
like calipers, which I avoid when I don’t want
the width of my luck measured,
so I can skip over instead to Thames Street,
up its narrow alley, between Big Al’s Pizza
and the Suspenders Bar and Restaurant, feeling,
as I always do on small streets, transported
to some Florentine corner, or a Parisian market,
if only for the way, in summer, it’s sometimes
closed off, a carpet thrown down and chairs put out,
if only for feeling lost again among possibilities.

About the author

Some travel moments that remain with Michael T. Young are enjoying a bottle of wine with friends in Luxembourg Gardens, sipping scotch on a balcony overlooking The French Quarter in New Orleans, and placing a pen at Joseph Brodsky’s grave in Venice’s San Michele. He has received a Fellowship from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, a William Stafford Award and the Chaffin Poetry Award, and his work has appeared or is forthcoming in places such as Barrow Street, Iodine Poetry Review, The Potomac Review, and The Same.

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