Two Poems

by Carol Cross

Carol Cross makes her home in upstate New York. She relies heavily on images from the Saint Lawrence River and the Adirondack Mountains in her poetry and short fiction. The two poems included here, "Mules" and "Shell" are part of her City Scapes Collection in which draws on a lifetime of travel experiences. The character Moni is recurrant in her poems and short fictions, and is seen here as a clever streetwise slight of hand artist. Ms. Cross's work can be found in several E-zines and various sites around the web, including: Arkham.

Moni Hustles Shell

Moni hustles shell
down across from the Authority on Eighth.
You can find him there next to the shoe stand
not far from the two old geezers
ripe with bird and urine
that never lose at chess.
Moni's a greezer too.
He'll suck you in with
a twinkle in his eye.
Tell you you're lucky day has arrived
and you'll start to believe him;
cause how can this ancient wino
with no teeth and trembling
hand be quicker than your young eye.
He'll steal your heart one bill at a time
and when he's through,
he'll leave you feeling like you've won.

Carmelitta in Mules

Carmelitta in burnt sienna
faux leather mules
wears ankle bracelets
on her ample stems.

Ice blue toe paint reflects
the patchwork
of the Avenue of the Americas,
reminds her that the sky
is still there
beyond towers of glass and steel.

Carmelitta with crimson lips
buys tokens at the station on Seventh
to take the train out.
But she never goes.

Instead she works the corner
at Eighth and Forty Fifth
just down from the Playpen,
walking by Tequilaville,
hungering for a taste.

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