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Poem of the Week: July 9, 2018

Greetings! Every week throughout the summer, BOA's staff and interns will share one of our favorite poems from our over 300 collections of poetry. This week's poem is from Holy Moly Carry Me by Erika Meitner.


I am riding the F train to Brooklyn
with my son, who is Appalachian
as much as anything, who is six and
does not notice the Hasidic women
reading Tehilim on their way home,
praying psalms from worn leather-
bound siddurim, moving their lips
past Broadway, Second Avenue,
Delancey, and he would not know
to identify them by their below-
the-knee skirts, the filled in parts
of their sheitels where scalp should
be visible, or the Brighton Beach men
in gray fedoras with threatening hand
tattoos speaking Russian, the occasional
wondrous mosaic murals or regular
green and white tiles spelling station
names: Bergen St., Carroll St., Smith
9th St., my son discovering he can see
his own reflection in the windows
of the cars when they plunge into
dark tunnels while the women’s lips
keep moving, and I want to tell him
I know their kind, though I know
to say this is reductive or offensive,
even if I might say it too about the
bleach blond with the septum ring,
or the old Russian mobsters, so
when he says, It’s hard to believe that
you got off here everyday
, I agree and
think of all the times I climbed
the station stairs or felt the give
of metal turnstiles on my hips,
the jangle of apartment keys or
click of my own heels on pavement
after a night out too late, the car service
guys playing dominoes on overturned
crates outside the bodega who didn’t
look up, and the way the trains still
vibrate beneath the surface with exactly
the same frequency they always did,
blowing hot air through the grates,
rattling me to the bone with foreboding
joy, and I want to tell him I know this
exact moment, the one where you finally
learn the contours of your own face,
its beauty as it hurtles through darkness.

Holy Moly Carry Me is available for preorder from the BOA Bookstore.

Kick off your summer reading with BOA's Summer Sale—going on now! Take 30% off all BOA Bookstore orders for a limited time with promo code READBOA18!

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