We New Yorkers love our real estate.
We measure our bliss by the size of our rooms.
We all need a place to park our freight.

We apartment hunt on our first date
in vacated spaces swept with a broom
New Yorkers live for real estate.

We speak mortgage point and interest rate
on the night we become a bride and groom.
We need a place to park our new freight.

It’s like a hunger we’re unable to sate.
You’d think we were torn too soon from our womb.
We New Yorkers crave more real estate.

A lottery with a twelve-year wait?
We cross our fingers in our Murphied room
for a bigger place to park our freight.

We swear we’ll never move upstate
though Victorians and dogwoods bloom.
We’re too attached to our real estate.

So we suck in our stomachs to pass our mate
while cooking in the galley’s windowless gloom
wishing for more space or maybe less freight.

There’s just one move we anticipate
but call it a snug studio, not a tomb.
A peaceful place to rest our freight –
we hear that Queens has good real estate.


Michele Herman’s first chapbook of poetry, Victory Boulevard, is due out in February 2018 from Finishing Line Press. She is a two-time winner of the Willis Barnstone Translation Prize for her translations of Jacques Brel songs, and she has placed in several recent contests, including the Raymond Carver Prize, the Bass River Press Poetry Competition and the Schiff Award for short fiction. She lives in New York City, where she does developmental editing, teaches at The Writers Studio, writes a column for The Villager (the Greenwich Village weekly paper), and occasionally performs her own work in cabaret and theatrical settings.


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