The girls

The girls
of the 1920s were
little more than willow wisps;
all legs, arms, and torsos,
only a motion of limbs and
pale thin embodiment.
and short hair,
flapper dresses,
boys at their sides,
neon, satin, sequins, and utopian
Art Deco lives.

They were all too young to realize the horrors
the technologies
they invested with messianic robes,
too old to hear their parents’ cries.
From farmsteads,
they came to the big from
the small, never understanding they only ever traded
one enclosure for another.

Anyone who has tried to live in a big city —
now or then —
knows what I mean.

My limbs move in ever-narrowing
squeezed in on all sides by an
amalgamated mass of
This is my salvation and my
The city is my God.
His angels are a host of automobiles,
carrying the living dead
from neighborhood to neighborhood,
but anyone can see there’s no space
for anyone anymore: the cities
are filling up, the graveyards
are filling up,
Hell is filling up.

But I’m not different:
another pretender in a city of fakes,
you the flighty flapper
I followed here from parts unknown,
shuffling the same worn deck of cards and wishing for
that lucky hand to play, thinking of
the girls of the 1920s,
and the cities that will be
our graves.


About allisunknown

26 year-old student, tutor, and writer. Write for Also nascent pedestrian advocate. Twitter handles:
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