For Rent

I lost my pride

This afternoon


A "For Rent" sign

Howling into the dusty air

Of Jersey Avenue construction

Wiping nose dribble

On my read pleather coat

You asked me

On three separate occasions

If I felt like a refugee

But today

You see how freely breath flows

Down streets of stirring winds

We are

Restless spirits skimming

Garden State concrete

Voices meet at coconut stands and

Abandoned buildings,

Rumble through brand-new, luxury apartment


Intersect waterfront construction sites, flashing

PATH train lights

We speak a mixed language: part hipster café, part railroad-track

Traced back generations

Or maybe just arrived, exiles

Of Manhattan

Happening onto the same square mile

Of defiled brick

And sleek stone,

Carving homes out of noisy streets

Jersey City tunes our screams

Like a grand piano

Christine Goodman (The author is the host of the Art House poetry open mic at Victory Hall at 186 Grand St. in Jersey City. The next event, scheduled for Dec. 4 at 7 p.m., will feature a reading by Adam Wade and a performance by Butterspy. For information visit


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