and one walks down West Street in a hurry 

wanting to stop and admire the cracks on the always empty sidewalks

where all those other dinners,

other walks, other cigarettes are packed and lingering. The streets are even emptier

after the rain and the paving stones are filled to the brim. 

The wealthy residents presiding today like the aesthetic. 

It keeps you off your bike, 

keeps you walking slowly and admiring. Now though,

you’re admiring Their dinners 

and Their walks and Their cigarettes and somehow

Their cracks seem brighter, wider. Like a spout rather than your chasm in the embankment. 

For them, more yet to spout forth

and below that lip 

the liquids all writhe in constant motion. 

But to toe one of yours, one finds the soot of an overstayed bliss,

all stagnant.

Emme is a poet, critic, and design historian based in Brooklyn, NY. She is currently a candidate for an M.S. in Historic Preservation at Columbia’s GSAPP. Both her creative and academic work investigates the poetics of space and intangible heritage.

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