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MEAT-PACKING DISTRICT

by

Deborah Staab

"Boygirls nothing more than Girlboys need."
e. e. Cummings


"Not for Consumption" is a ghostly declaration in faded white stencil
on the red 50-gallon plastic drums that stand
stoically beside gray walls
with backbones and thick white slabs of fat
jutting and groping over the side.
Men grapple one-hooked and one-handed with bodies
fleshy and fresh hanging
in the open air over cobblestones and cement.
White aprons turn red, then dark brown; jeans that are
stained look wet until the blood dries to burnt
blue denim.

A few blocks south and it is gone. The street is
small and lined with homes where you can't see the
blood, people have two hands and carcasses evade
caresses.

Come back when night has fallen and the sky spits
stars: little gems to razzle-dazzle the high ceilinged
streets, tumbling on stilts
or in Salvation Army sensations to twinkle the eye
of every last beast
that stalks the chicken stalls and digs among the
doorways for beefhearts.
A transvestite vampire or a steel-toed surgeon in
The nimbus of a streetlight is
waiting to cut into you. "Eat Me" is tattooed on
the brick behind the boygirls' lanky legs.

Go south and windows are dark behind wrought iron
bars, Men play Girls play Women play Boys play Chicken
until sunrise.






ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Deborah Staab is a native New Yorker and a graduate of NYU. After a few years freelancing in independent film as a prop master she moved to Chicago to work as a magazine editor for two years. She now lives in picturesque Queens, NY and does all sorts of freelance work to pay the bills.








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