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1. The Other Side


Little lamppost on the corner.

Evening sighing, “All's in order,”

on this quiet city street

where you told me we would meet. (I'm waiting.)

But the trolley broke down on New Year's Eve,

and since I have no one left to leave,

I'll bundle up my losses like the laughter we've forgotten and follow my shadow through the leaves.

Ambling past the evergreens and palaces of kings and queens, the images pass -

but the longer they last,

the more they're splitting at the seams


Once upon a Riverside,

princes, paupers, kings and I stood side by side,

side by side.

Now cutout cardboard masquerades

line the streets and alleyways

from the other side, from the other side.


[All we had was make believe

to make the best, make it seem alright, alright -

once upon a time from the Other Side.]


Well, the war it seems was never won,

and your long road has just begun,

and a mother lies with her opened eyes

mourning the death of her fav'rite son.

The stage was set before she came,

and no one really knows her name,

and the neighbors meet in the vicar's seat

sending prayers to a deafened saint.


We can keep our cardboard boxes -

I don't mind if we're lost causes

stealing laughter sweet to sip

from each other's open lips.

Just name your price, you'll see -

the ghosts and ghouls will disagree

and keep our castles in the sky

to carry on, and pass us by, but

we can keep on being six

if you'll keep teaching me magic tricks, an'

here's one at which you excel:

the vanishing spell, the vanishing spell.


Broken bones.

Stepping stones.

The bridge laid bare,

only God knows where it leads.

Emily Elizabeth

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