two poems

by Rogan Kelly

Writ on a Postcard at a Gas Station in Gravesend

All manner of Mer crashed Surf in a kind of bowed line and to the beat of Gloria Estefan. So much merriment under a bruised-spat sky. Ballast, I held your long frame, amidst the throngs of passers-by.  Made wanton by your pressed touch. We followed the parade to where the rickety wooden coaster, closed for repair, rose like a funeral door.

Near Neptune, mere mortals formed another line at the old pie joint. Curious at the fuss, we joined. I fell in love with you over pizza and over tracks and later, on a rooftop, Wythe Avenue. I miss you today. Greetings from Coney Island.

  Penn Station/Before the Renovation

But the rivers breathe and spark. —Renee Ashley

You stood in front of the magazine rack near the escalator at the 34th Street/7th Avenue exit. In the dingy low-ceiling thoroughfare, it’s too many people in grey light. No discernible time of day, your smile is the Broadway marquee, Gatsby’s guide. The train always late, the escalator running. Anyone here could be my ex-wife’s descent to my ascend/never felt ascending. Gonna hold you in front of the stand, hold you till everything else falls away—this fuck of a city, this concrete relic of dream.

Sometimes Rogan Kelly sits on a rooftop in Brooklyn and dreams of taller buildings and chestnut flour pancakes. He wants to love the Hudson Ferry but doesn’t. His poems have recently appeared in The Cortland Review, The Penn Review, Small Orange, Tiferet and others. “Demolition in the Tropics” is his first chapbook (Seven Kitchens Press 2019). He was a finalist for the 2018 Jane Underwood Poetry Prize. Follow Rogan on Instagram and Twitter: @JerzyPoet.

Artwork by: Molly McGrane Molly McGrane is from Chicago IL, but is currently a Batten scholar at The Culver Academies. Her poetry, and photography have previously been published by The Voices ProjectFishfood Magazine (both print and online editions) and The Quill. She also writes creative non-fiction, most notably her TEDx talk ‘The Value of Dysfunction’.