Brownsville: Brick by Brick?

The subway train stutters to a stop at Sutter Avenue.

Sutter Avenue does not stutter, merely seeps, sometimes weeps,

silenced, strewn away, shhh…

Sutter Avenue sings away anyway,

like the rest of screaming, lilting, broken Brownsville,

broken but not bleary:

sharp with paint of pain and promise,

sharp with livid layers and living laughter,

crumbling crevices and climbing clearings,

failing food and fair farms.

The railroad rocks away at Rockaway avenue.

Ignorant exoticization — easy

Easy ignorance — entrenched in the

sly, slow, silencing, swooping system.

But brick by brick, brooding buoyance of Brownsville bespeaks.

Little by little, listen.



~ by Sania Irfan on November 2, 2019.