Marianne Szlyk

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She Wonders What Will Become Of This City

The sky above swells into a bruise over a blood vessel.
Swarms of mosquitoes rise from puddles and gutters.

It is always about to rain, sometimes about to thunder.
Acid rain cannot cleanse the ground or the air.

The pages of books dampen and thicken,
becoming too heavy to turn, too blurred to read.

The green fuzz of moss grows over trees
like plaque on teeth.  Bones ache with decay.

Buses stall.  Last year today would have been Code Red.
No one walks.  No one rides for free.|

She wonders what will become of this city
once the oceans rise and ghost towns form like coral reefs.

The real coral reefs will have crumbled,
all color leaching away into the corrosive sea.

She wonders if the people huddling miles inland
will ever visit the abrasive waters

and imagine what might have been
in the ghost town where she now sits.

Or will they avoid the scouring waves
and build their lives on mountains, now islands

above the waters, above the swarms of mosquitoes,
above the trash of daily life in a ghost town?

© Copyright 2016 Marianne Szlyk

Marianne Szlyk is the editor of The Song Is… (, which she hopes that you will visit.  Recently, she published her second chapbook, I Dream of Empathy, which is available on Amazon: (

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7 Responses to Marianne Szlyk

  1. William Lord says:

    I love the imagery in this poem, and the theme: we are all living in the ghost towns of the future. 🙂

  2. MaryJo says:

    The imagery is wonderful. Just love your poem, Marianne.

  3. Thank you so much, William and Mary Jo. 🙂 The recent news about the rising oceans is frightening.

  4. theval2000 says:

    yay Marianne 🙂

  5. Joanna Howard says:

    This poem makes me cry: It is so exquisitely crafted and filled with truth.

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