Crown Heights Vignette

by Genevieve Betts

Jerk meat and roti, cow skin and goat feet,
neighbors in curlers outside the laundry gossiping,

children chicken dancing at cops driving by,
all sharp elbows, clucks, and emboldened eyes,

my bodega on Rogers and Montgomery Street,
its cat and her kittens in the back, mewling,

Chinese deliverymen zipping around senior citizens—
dominos, spliffs, arguing, Jamaican accents,

ships bellowing and seagulls bomb diving
trash bags that super’s stack against the curb,

orthodox families strolling inside the eruv
surrounding Eastern Parkway on Saturdays,

the echo of gunshots ricocheting between
posts of summertime scaffolding.

About the author…

Genevieve Betts is the author of the poetry collection An Unwalled City (Prolific Press, 2015). Her work has appeared in The Tishman Review, New Mexico Review, Hotel Amerika, The Literary Review, and in other journals and anthologies. She teaches creative writing for Arcadia University’s low-residency MFA program and lives in Santa Fe.