Sarah Carson

when we argued about cities


When we argued about cities

you said mine was too empty

for your three quarters full love songs;

I said you were tattoo deep, damp

as a tumor. You said I was

just looking for buckets to dump

over porch rails. I said you were

just looking for pictures to send home.

In Vancouver, I sit myself down,

say, "He is not here, you girl,

you invisible body of water."

I hear you say I am the worst

kind of restless, that I tear down

porticos to hear construction workers

whistle while I walk. On the Internet

I find a selfie you’ve taken in San Francisco,

behind you a streetcar crests a hilltop.

In Atlanta, I burn your Peter Gabriel

t-shirt in a hotel hallway. In Louisville

you sing songs I hate so loudly

the people next door stop their love-making

to call the front desk.

When we are done, you take the dog;

I smash anything that fits between

a storm door and a brick wall,

but still I'm up all night on Granville

dreaming of every city I’ve never been to,

wondering if you are happy now

that you’ve gotten to them first.


Sarah Carson was born and raised in Michigan but now lives in Chicago with her dog, Amos. She is also the author of three chapbooks and two full-length collections: Poems in which You Die (BatCat Press, 2014) and Buick City (Mayapple Press, 2015)  Sometimes she blogs at