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City Girl by Russ Woods



I used to be a city

but now I’m a girl.

It took a long time

for me to change

from a city to a girl

and the in-between

stages were kind of stupid

but it feels good having

arms and feet instead of

buildings and stoplights.

It feels good being my

own aldermen and my

own slumlord.


It feels good being a girl

and if you look close

you can tell I was a city

before.  Inside me there

are city things going on.

Inside me it’s still loud.


Inside me there is a woman

who loves her dog so much

that she filmed it sleeping

and projected it thirty feet

high onto the side of her

apartment building.

A dog-eye twitches and a

whole window seems to move.

The building is dog-breathing.


Last week there was a nightmare

and the whole sidewalk broke in

half the long way in front of the building.

Birds took turns landing on the break

looking for bugs and they found a few.

Pedestrians were having trouble

and so the woman came out

and helped them push their babies

and she could feel the babies

pushing back.


Russ Woods lives in Chicago, where he co-edits Red Lightbulbs.  He has
had or will have poetry in Pank, Trnsfr, and apt.  His first chapbook,
Tiny People will be out from NAP in January 2012.  There is more where
this came from at solarflareshavebeenknowntocauseheartache.com