“Phantom Limb” by Martina Reisz Newberry

Phantom Limb

The way sunlight pounds through traffic to reach my body on the sidewalk—
this, this is always with me
and also
the snarling city cops looking for something to smash
and how they always find it
and also
the night noises: howling sirens, shouts, something breaking,
the coyotes up by the Hollywood sign—nobody’s babies
and also
watching where I step, the growling citizenry, the sly smiles, the shrugs,
the caution, the desperate religion, the snorting busses, the cast-off shoe
under the bus bench
and also
and also
Leaving my city—an amputation—a mistake of such egregious proportions
that the only rectification come in dreams
and also
and also
pungent sidewalks, unlit laundry room in my old apartment, roach baits to
be purchased
every 60 days, my city, my love
A shrink told me once, “Contrary to popular mythology, people DO die of a
broken heart.”
So it goes… so it is this grief of mine, this missing city
I want you even when I am with you.


Martina Reisz Newberry’s most recent book is Learning by Rote. (Deerbrook Press, 2012) She is also the author of What We Can’t Forgive. Late Night Radio, Perhaps You Could Breathe For Me, Hunger, After the Earthquake: Poems 1996-2006, Not Untrue & Not Unkind(Arabesques Press, Amari Hamadene, editor) and Running Like a Woman with Her Hair on Fire: Collected Poems(Red Hen Press). She has written four novels and several books of poetry, has been included in Ascent Aspirations first hard-copy Anthology, also in the anthology In The Company Of Women and has been widely published in literary magazines such as: Ascent Aspirations, Bellingham Review, Blessed Are These Hands, Cape Rock, Connecticut Poetry Review, Cenacle, Counterpunch, Current Accounts, Divine Femme, Haight Ashbury, Iota, Istanbul Literary Review,Niche, Piedmont Literary Review, Southern Review of Poetry, Shot of Ink, Smiling Politely,Touchstone, Women’s Work, Yet Another Small Magazine, and others.

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