From your sumptuary outside view,

this neighborhood is a slum,

no longer producing anything worth having,

anybody worth knowing.


The streets, the tenements remain,

caging dreams so inconsequential

that their meaning is plain – survive.

That’s not as easy as it sounds.


No matter how hard I stare in your mirror

this point at where I lapse

into a look, an expression, a gesture,

that you’re expecting


is as clear in your eyes as they are in mine.

This is not getting us anywhere.

I retreat to my warm, loving hell.

You go back to your codification.

John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in Examined Life Journal, Evening Street Review and Columbia Review with work upcoming in Leading Edge, Poetry East and Midwest Quarterly.

May 8, 2018

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