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Santa Fe, NM, 87508
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Mud City is an online literary journal promoting the ideals and vision of the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) Low Residency MFA Program.

Jude Marr

Jude Marr.jpg

Jude Marr is the author of Breakfast for the Birds (Finishing Line, 2017). Her poems have appeared in The Cortland Review, Black Heart Magazine, and Cherry Tree among others. In 2014, she received an honorable mention for her submission to the Frankye Davis Mayes Prize sponsored by the Academy of American Poets. Jude has an MFA in creative writing from Georgia College and in 2015 she became a PhD student at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. She is poetry editor for the online journal r.kv.ry. For more on Jude's work go to judemarr.com

 

Pacing My Neighborhood, Midtown Atlanta


On Marietta Street, an old light pole rusts through

and falls, wind-whacked, across snaggletooth

sidewalk. I step over wires to where broken

pavers heave out of Georgia’s red earth: traffic snaps

at my heels as I cross the street on green, seeing no one

but the man who sells umbrellas

on downpour days—

            he asks me for a dime. His hand

contains a fractal wave of coins, as proof; his palm seams

ancient as Tigris and Euphrates—

                        I move smoothly as a jointed

doll along Hollowell, past the teen who capers

round my aging self, his body beautiful, his mouth full

of honey—I’m not real—

                   by the Mobil station

there’s a package store sells vodka by the quarter pint

in plastic bottles. One woman, liquored up, pushes

a damson hand against my face. You got ID? she asks. Show me

ID—

         I’m on Lowery now. This is my street. Boarded

homes, fragile as leaf-skeletons; oak-shaded, empty lots; porch

life; preachers. Can I give you a pamphlet? No? Okay.  Jesus loves you

anyway—

           unrequited, I ignore my cracked stair, my mailbox

hanging by a nail, and pace on—

                               left onto Boone where, close

to the dollar store, a yard contains players with a stake

in every game; the host nods as I pass. ’Sup, sister? he says, graceful

as a man who owns his house, who knows my place—

                                  his dress shirt

radiates. Blinded, I nod back.