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Steven Deutsch

Walking the steamy streets

of Alphabet City

after two days of heavy rain


I hope will never end,

the sidewalks smell

of a city left behind.


Friends lived here once

up on Avenue C

in a roach-filled, sixth-floor


walk-up protected

by three massive locks.

Yes, it was deadly here,


and the walk I take this evening

would have labeled me insane

or desperate. Yet I miss


the days when I might

meet a friend on any corner—

catch up over beer


and peanuts in that bar

on Avenue A —the one that catered

to roughnecks, punks, and poets.

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