Cityscape: A Poem of Peace
by Nicole Brickman

Intoxicated by the sidewalk glittering
and the smell of sugarcoated peanuts,
she walks these dirty streets.

The slow burn of bright lights and
motion- a solitary figure in the crowd,
business suits and taxis rushing by.

Yet her back is a steel knife, eyes
pushing right through the commotion
heart hammering time with her footfall.

She pauses—nourished by objects:
stall after stall of jewel colored scarves,
silver bracelets, tiny Russian dolls—

Her other emerges in this place, a strange thing
thriving on subway heat and slivers of conversation
he left me today and the cost is high, so high,

The store windows illuminate,
cold glow of light across her face.
In the shadows, lovers cling,

children tug on woolen sleeves,
outstretched hands keep reaching—
palms upturned, blank pages.

She must keep walking, eyes
tracing the jagged edges of treetops,
buildings, lamp posts and stop signs.

Nicole Brickman lives in Columbus OH, where she inspires her middle school students to love reading and writing. She holds a BA in education/English from Hunter College in New York City and an MA in literature from the University of Connecticut. Her work has been published in technicolor, vox poetica and Poetic Medicine. She enjoys spending time with her husband Jeff, her son Nicholas, her dog Kira, and her cat Jim.

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