Howard Beach

on a National Park
bench, as the trestle yawns
another A train
out to Far Rockaway,

as bleary geese vibrate,
as a Qantas megajet lands low
above their heads.

Before the airport, after the rainfall
there’s a sense of change

folded into clothing
shoved into luggage

packed like the room being left
was halfway to cinders.

In Howard Beach, land
stilts itself above bay,
poised to spring
into the fidgety gray
of outer New York City. I forgot,

with bags in my hands, the lives
lived in the shadow
of other people’s leaving.

Gabriel Kalmuss-Katz is currently based in San Diego where he attends the UC-San Diego MFA program and leads writing workshops at the San Diego Juvenile Detention Facility. His work has previously appeared in or is forthcoming from Bayou, After Hours, Curbside Splendor, and Juncture. He blogs about music at www.songssavelives.com