photo by mauricio alejandro ramos
Betsy Burke studies literature at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro where she is earning her BA in English. She is a writer and diligent reader, finding life is easier to understand when looking through the experience of a page. Her poetry can be found in several literary magazines, including The Coraddi, Willows Wept Review, Dead Snakes, The Bastille, and The Write Room.
There was a time she made
escape the tunnels and concrete—
timed subway trains run like oil
as ice on her two front teeth,
too sensitive for apples,
white for the crisp, broken
downed bodies crawling
sticky through tunneled walls.
She would say,
“Say! It’s another day in paradise.”
A shoe claps Shalom! Shalom! in Yiddish New York
City, New England, but old American’s
fiddle with rooks and Queens
and China Town is a desert
of swinging chickens,
which way is up? Which way is down-
town where the poets live comfortably—
a pen and a cracker, some Wednesday afternoon delight,
and also at night.
What is love,
Lennon and linen,
Shalom and bed inns—
Roger once said that from the springing speaker
of a cop car—how does one Roger some-
was a time she’d laugh with herself—
now it is a roll of the eyes—it is a rubbing shoulders
with strangers—it is a time to go home with the city
all over crimson
and clover, over and over.