Poems / by Anita R. Carroll

(inspired by "Steps" by Frank O’Hara)

How peculiar you are today, New York.

Like Judy Garland singing in the snow

And the stagnancy of the Seine at two o’clock

In the morning.

You are silent, New York.

In your frozen stupor and your beautiful black-ice concrete

Whose salt cracks under my feet

and smears on the pavement—

We all walk home, eventually.

I do not resent the winter.

It makes me think of cold Saturday nights at Carnegie Hall

When I was too young to understand but young enough to feel it
Dressed in stockings and pinafores and my dad’s coat

I slept with symphonies in the middle of December.

Hey, I’m laughing loudly by myself

Sitting by the East River at six in the morning

My glittering citadel

Always full, always mine.

I do not wish, I do not ache for a person

To be mine.

I live with ghosts and demi-smiles and cracks in my mirror

And the cigarette butts mangled by footsteps and rain.

The vagabonds sleep underneath the Cooper Union cantilevers

With their pitbulls and their heroin needles.

I don’t know where they’re from

And I don’t know if they remember.

How strange, how enchanting it is

To blow smoke out of my window

And laugh at the harlequins

And belong to nobody.





Three Poems


The Word for sitting in a restaurant on Bond Street and it’s raining outside and 
it’s June and you drink seven glasses of water because you have nothing to say. 


You would complain about how skinny you were but I became comforted by the 
feeling of your hip bone jabbing into me. If these walls could talk they would say 
we were drawn to each other because of our fascination with jagged edges and 
things that don't fit.


I want to lie down on the filthy concrete and feel the pulse of the earth’s crust, 
watching all of your errant limbs tread this ground and forget the way home.





Anita R. Carroll is a twenty-two-year-old writer, filmmaker, scholar, and multimedia storyteller based in New York City. A graduate of New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study, she is the co-founder of the Little Fox Collective and Storysmith Productions and is currently pursuing her law degree at Fordham University. Follow her on Twitter @lolitanitaa.