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Bushwick, Jersey Bound

A poem written after a long walk in a place I used to live.

By Suze KayPublished 2 months ago Updated 2 months ago 1 min read
Image made with MidJourney, author's prompt

A hundred minutes from home and nothing looks like it used to,

but men on the street say the same things. A guilty relief.

I worried my ring would change things: make me less than myself,

more a collared dog escaped from the yard.


The brownstones have fresh facades, already summer dusty, wanting

for rain. Here is the corner that was a bodega, then a crime scene,

now a realty office. I suppose I've shifted, too. Three years of sun

and sorrow will mark a soul or a map. It's all the same.


The KFC dumpster still spills chicken bones and tattered skin.

Motorcycles parade, trailing bachata blare and car alarms.

A basketball game is picked up and up and up, and I wonder if the new girl

in my old window hates the dribble trickle as much as I did.


The gentry seek fresh land with cute cafes, pet-friendly, washers in unit.

Remember the final scene in the laundromat? Quarters rolling on the floor,

spin cycle unstuck with a kick, the attendant turning the dryer up up up

on delicates tumbling low, trying to push me out. It worked.


I live in Jersey now. In twelve minutes, I'll be wiping sweat from my lip

in a chilly subway car, crossing rivers, hunting graffiti and resisting ads.

Seek Jesus. Visit Maryland. If you see something, say something.

The problem is this: I look away, and it morphs before me, grinning.


Where did the time go? Why am I newly scared of delivery bikes

when they speed the same on both sides of the dotted line between states?

There's history I knew and unknew and also stuff I missed completely.

I was here. I was here. I was here.

listsocial commentarysad poetry

About the Creator

Suze Kay

Pastry chef by day, insomniac writer by night.

Catch me here for spooky stories, crushable poems, and overall weird thoughts.

Or, let me catch you on my website!

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Comments (11)

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  • Jazzy Gonçalves 25 days ago

    This was so beautiful. I liked the line about your ring changing things. I've often had that thought going home too. So well done

  • A beautiful and nostalgic poem! I love the last line, because when you go home it's not just about the memories, but in some way we wish to be acknowledged that we were a part of the history there, if only in a small way💙Anneliese

  • Wonderful. I could feel the sentiment and recollections as if I were living them myself. Excellent work!!!

  • Mesh Toraskarabout a month ago

    You have no idea when I say how much I resonate with this poem, especially since I'm back home for a while after a while now. The relief of leaving a place behind, laden with guilt is such a strong emotion and you captured it so well. I'm in awe. Thank you for writing this :)

  • Novel Allenabout a month ago

    This is true of wherever and whenever on returns home. The places are different, but it fells the same. Really a master[iece.

  • Cendrine Marrouatabout a month ago

    Reading your poem transported me to the city where I grew up. Every time I go back, I'm torn between happiness and nostalgia. Things have changed and yet, they feel the same. We carry the DNA of the places where we have lived. Thank you for this fantastic read! A masterpiece.

  • This was so relatable and very nostalgic! I loved it!

  • Naomi Gold2 months ago

    This is now tied with Yellow Wood for my favorite poem of yours. What an evocative time bleed.

  • Ariel Joseph2 months ago

    Lovely poem ❤️ I lived in Bushwick my first 7 years in the city. This made me kinda nostalgic for my early days living here.

  • Mother Combs2 months ago

    This is great

  • Poppy2 months ago

    This is awesome. It reminds me of the times I returned to my home town and was overwhelming swamped with feelings I couldn’t put into words. You, however, did a marvellous job of describing a very similar feeling

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