the museum of americana

a literary review

Avenue B, 2007 — Poetry by Andrea Janov

You like to think that something

       changes when you leave.

 

That somehow the landscape will be different.

That something would have sensed the moving truck and boxes

        and felt a loss, of something,

               of someone who had lived their life

                                                  there for years.

 

But the street

      and the sidewalk

             remain the same.

Your apartment gets

        a fresh coat of paint and new renters.

 

Fingerprints on the doors and

        murals painted on the walls,

Scuff marks on linoleum and

       dents in the refrigerator door,

Beer caked in the carpets and

       wine stains in the sink ,

The laughter shouted from the rooftop and

       the crying on the fire escape,

Your blood dried on the pavement,

                                     all dissipate into the ether.

                      Whitewashed,

       for the next tenant.

 

Life goes by

      on Avenue B

      like you were never there.

 

This street,

              this building,

                     are all centuries older than you.

              Your stint is just a flash

      in their history.

 

In a city of such anonymity,

       years don’t even add up to a footnote. 

 

~~~

Andrea JanovAndrea Janov is a punk rock kid who believes in the beauty of the ordinary, the power of the vernacular, and the history of the abandoned. She strives to reveal the power in what we see, say, do, ignore, and forget every day. Her collection, Mix Tapes and Photo Albums, (EMP Books) is available on www.andreajanov.com.

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