THE FIELD GUIDE PROJECT: NYC (the E train from Chambers to 118th St.)

WORDS & IMAGE: Saja Chodosh

The second installment in Saja's collection on home. 

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NYC (the E train from Chambers to 118th St.) 

they said the day was moonless / a green sky tinge / harlem rooftop / tribeca escape / flood rain on 72nd / and the cab driver said oui / yes yes yes / i can taste burnt cherry on my lymph nodes / did you read the love notes from the liquor store on the corner / from the man who says darling with a drawl / daaaarlin / the lumineers sang wet / he watched me undress from behind an open kitchen door / aries kiss slow under new doorways / muddy black boots / we split the pills / we threw out our shoes / climbed the ceiling and flipped the world / we woke to a bed of stolen things / cigarette bagel fresh fedora / i like to divide / couldn’t split a piece of pizza / threw the bagel from a cab window / left the apt. keys in the cab / watched dinosaur movies high / should we wonder more / sat lonely on a corner / told her no, but there she was, strung on the ladder / we’re dead with dead phones / when we fucked on the stairs / flipped cards / fire escaped to a river blown street / rattling train and rattling bones / too bony / stole sake and missed the E train / split the fare and had to choose direction / screw maps because its us who hates the lines / rung late and twisted birthday nonsense with cigarette tongue / of almost missed morning bus trips / missed the fireworks / craved space but mostly claustrophobia / coffee iced coffee mint julep / 1668 / office frost and tourist traffic / and new poems say pronouns don’t matter / it could be anyone in this word street city hall chunk / chambers st. / wanted to dance but couldn’t / wanted to say things that subways erased of matter / makes you think naked is easy / blackbox water body dance / sometimes the city takes your breath / and the missing building / we paid thirteen for the cold film and four for the diet coke / like losing people in whole foods / like losing salt at home / and my uncle is angry and this place isn’t mine / didn’t write and now its like this / they say to avoid parenthesis / can’t separate the list so make it a chamber / time chamber / fuck, we say, we miss it / tiny beds and monday bets and wanting the city to wash us of the heat / we are twenty / unlatched screens and clogged shower drains / and we said melancholia but we meant simple sad / and sometimes we find us at the wrong lightphase / it goes on / nostalgia, they call it / making lists of things you miss but don’t want back / i don’t want him / home back / in july, it rains hard / cloudy catharsis / it’s like 3 am / not always / hate the word always now / the l of it / locked out / coming back / going home / love calls from knotted pits / grated streets / making house out of nothing but tired hearts and stone fruit / words, we can’t control / they take us / they take us / and we say no, oui / i can’t / and then just, fuck it / it’s happening / we’re in this room and it isn’t ours / pants off / and now / it isn’t hard to sing a name whisper / in this city island of music / randall’s island / so hard to get here / let’s give it all and screw the lightning / the muddy huddle close / they say the night is never moonless in the city /