The Building with The Scaffolding By Lydia Flores

The Building with The Scaffolding

Look at me I am September 11th
and every person I’ve ever loved
is jumping from my dainty arms
saving themselves (for a better love or dying)
I am a subway of loneliness, homelessness
screeching F train at York street
rumbling with violins and voices.

I have it, but my poems are metro cards
I swipe for a ride, hoping to get back to Harlem—
a Renaissance, my bones protruding, I’m
a monster, or metamorphosing.

I am Penn station and people are leaving or coming
I can’t tell. everyone’s march sounds the same.
am I forty-second street? awed with lights
or am I staircases in Taft projects?
dark, cold and littered. a used body.

I don’t know if I will make my rent payment
because I don’t know if I can afford to love myself
when I pay my confidence in food stamps.
I go home to your shelter at night where you, anxiety
forcefully touch my heart, stealing its calm thump
leaving me like gunshots or fireworks. but
in Brooklyn they don’t know the difference.

So, I must heal on my own.
I’m too weak to stand on the well-fare line
I want to get better, back to love but
I’m on the welfare line begging for
someone else’s honest eyes and gentle hands.

too small to be the empire state building
I am central park and you walk through me
to get to someone else’s grand central.
I am the twin towers after I let you kiss me.
crashed into my honesty and now
my innocence is a memory.
But I am New York, still, from someone’s window.
A skyline & One day they will be ready to call me home.

By Lydia Flores 


Lydia Flores is a writer and photographer from Harlem, New York.
Her work has been featured in Deaf Poets Society, Downtown Brooklyn, Visceral Brooklyn, Crab Fat Magazine, and several others. Find her at or @_fearlessocity

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