OFF HOURS By stephanie roberts


i’m going to be in love again
used to be the big department stores in the city
closed on sunday
those early morning trains belonged to
black church goers
copped to king james unaware
how rare they were
christmas day you could drive from wall street
to harlem a mile a minute
did it once (can’t remember why)
maybe because i could
like i’m going to love again
in spite of this exhaustion of entropy
consuming my heart like cancer
(never met anyone with heart cancer
or i never met anyone without it)
can’t close stores now
literally a done deal
i’m not on the F heading to the church
opposite carnegie hall
where i sang all four verses shoulder to shoulder
with a tenor from the met
i’m embarrassed to still be off-key
about love
talked about it ten years twenty
(enough already)
let the workers go
home to their families
for fuck’s sake
let’s get sick of talk of love
let’s threaten poets with physical harm
i’m going to love again so quietly
no one will know
i’m home.

By stephanie roberts


stephanie roberts has work featured or forthcoming, this year, in The Stockholm Review of Literature, Reunion: The Dallas Review, Room Magazine (Canada), Shooter Literary Magazine (UK), Rat’s Ass Review, After the Pause, The Thing Itself, The Inflectionist Review, and elsewhere. Born in Central America, she grew up in Brooklyn, NY and now lives just outside of Montréal in a wee french town. Her twitter @ringtales, mixes a passion for literature, blacktwitter, resistance politics, and a boilermaker of irreverence.

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