Marianne Szlyk lives in the DC suburbs with her husband, the wry flash fiction writer Ethan Goffman and their cat Thelma. Her poems have appeared in of/with, MacQueen’s Quinterly, Verse-Virtual, Bourgeon, Muddy River Poetry Review, the Beltway Poetry Quarterly the Sligo Review, and Spectrum as well as Sheila-Na-Gig. Her books On the Other Side of the Window and Poetry en Plein Air are available from Amazon. She has also led workshops where poets write tributes to both survivors of COVID-19 and those whom we have lost.
In Jamaica, NY, Six Months After Turning Thirty
I shut off the window unit to feel
the breeze sweep through ash trees
letting the last sun slip past
the whorls of wire on the fence.
Outside the city, my co-workers bake
on roof decks until the sun dissolves.
They drink frozen cocktails. They talk;
they laugh; they talk; they laugh.
Other co-workers live in Hollis,
having come from the other Jamaica.
Words sparkle as they heap up plates
of goat, greens, and roti.
My bone-thin husband watches baseball
in the chilly rooms below.
He cheers for the home team
and plants perennials
around this bandaged-up house,
the only one with an asphalt yard.