PoetryWinter2018

Philadelphia Tasting Menu – Gabrielle Martin

Philadelphia Tasting Menu

The subway is made of slime
dripping
Septa sweat
Trolley Routes
Suburban Station and Regional
Rail Lines
Route 30
Race                                               Vine
        5th Street
Allegheny
Broad and
Norris
Montgomery home

i almost get run over by a Caviar bike, next cop car cracks water bottle in half before chirruping its lights, and if you walk down 20th past 9 pm aren’t you some kind of crazy? the old man tells me.
People keep telling me
i’d be nuts to bite the curb
chew asphalt and grime of
6 million feet, taste the soles of
their shoes, brewed like mead and dragged
up from the earth they were formed in.
But i’m a connoisseur at heart
and if they bomb the block again i’ll do just fine
putting brick in my mouth rough edge
soft tongue, red brick, red tongue. Chew.

Give me a skunky Rolling Rock any day over this microbrewery shit;
or i’ll drink directly from the Delaware if it means i get to float to the sea.
On my way to the bridge a boy not much older than i offers me headphones, so i listen to his mixtape —
sounds like a catcall filtered through fine wine.

If you listen late at night you can hear it sizzle: the avenue tastes like rolled cigarettes and malt liquor
dressed up to go nowhere in her fine black gown, but alone on the step
a firecracker is lit somewhere
and sulfur fires up

 


 

Author Bio: Gabrielle Martin is a Temple University graduate currently living in Philadelphia. Originally from Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, much of her formative years were spent shucking corn. She loves Martian wind and terrible coffee. Her work can be found in Hyphen, Moonchild Magazine, and The Machinery. Find her on Twitter @crabbygabie.

The author: zlis@iastate.edu