On East 2nd Street

Nyla Matuk

Five dried silver dollars in a window
lean like dominos toward a far
beach. Christmas eve. The Godzillas
of forgotten atolls, printed on
Bayeusian hangings, are reminiscent
of a wartime ghetto’s dark cloisters
or the myopia effect of a 3-D screen:
yellow, black, red and green.
It’s a season of greetings but I’ve
come here to be alone. I’ve already exploited
my depths in the ill-will of the family.
The credenza in the back room boasts
the largest captive mollusk on Nantucket.
Area people once saw a sea monster.
The old navy blue pantsuit’s been
perked up with a necklace of real sea coral.
A graffito across from the café terrace
shouts Lower East Side
in Zoot Suit Rainbow font,
and Linda Ronstadt bellows out
of a Bakelite-faced radio.
I hear the clink of wine
glasses cleared from tables next door,
a car’s screech on tiny diamonds
dusting the road. I said to myself, you’re
a stranger with an appetite for the strange.
Looking back on this, I see
I fell asleep between two cold rivers,
while the blue shadows of uncomplicated
conifers leaned into their own.

Nyla Matuk’s first collection is Sumptuary Laws (Signal, 2012). Her poems appear in New Poetries VI (Carcanet 2015).

Ladowich Magazine is available in the Apple Newsstand — https://t.co/bhbBwDr0F9 — offering just enough poetry and one longread a month. This poem appears in issue five, arriving at the end of September.

Do us a favor? Click that green “Recommend” button below to let people know how good this is. Thanks!