Three Poems by Cord Moreski

Brooklyn by the Sea

My friend Charlie tells me as we sit on a bench
and wait for the last train of the night to arrive
that he doesn’t even recognize his own city anymore.
The house he grew up in on Cookman is a hot yoga studio,
and the school he attended as a kid is now a block
full of luxury townhomes, even the landmarks
and mom-and-pop shops he used to haunt
are being traded in for trendy art murals and lots
for overpriced food trucks. But the contractors keep
buying and flipping, destroying and rebuilding,
so that it’s not so easy to hear those Springsteen songs
among the constant drilling along the boardwalk anymore.
Charlie tells me that his landlord is raising his rent again
and that maybe his luck would be better if he moves out of New Jersey.
Then he gets quiet for a moment as we watch our train pass us by
like a fleeting memory, like a lifetime flashing before the inevitable death.
So we both decide that all there’s left to do is walk
but have trouble figuring out which direction is home.



Disappearing Act


Ricky was always into magic.
That summer when my pals
and I were all twenty-two years old,
we bought a few cases of PBR each night,
lit a bonfire on the beach and watched
as Ricky did the damndest things.
He bent quarters with his forehead,
plucked rose petals from the back of earlobes
and always, for his final trick, helped make
the rest of our beer vanish into his belly.
But one day he stopped coming around.
Word was that his father tried to convince him
into joining the army, but Ricky ran away
before he could ever sign the papers.
His dad would ask us from time to time
if we had heard any news about his son,
but we all knew that magicians
never revealed their secrets.



Back then, my friends and I
swore time would never catch us.
We drove fast. Brawled much.
Dragged Reds past the filters
and found God at the bottom of bottles.
We’d stay up all night mocking
the galaxies that had already died
not realizing it would eventually
become tomorrow.





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