The Bridge That Doesn’t Go To Manhattan by Ally Malinenko

The bridge that doesn’t go to Manhattan
is my favorite one
down here at the bottom of Brooklyn.
You can’t walk over it,
it’s too long and the wind on the estuary
can blow you right into the Atlantic.

People kill themselves here often
not as often as the Golden Gate
but still, they find that when they
can no longer go on
that this bridge is the one they need
to take them to the
on the other side.

I’ve lived in its shadow for nearly ten years
which startles me
because it feels like so much less
but time can do that can’t it?
Just wash away like so much sand.

It is a castle in the sky kind of bridge
so when I see it,
from the airplane window
on this flight home
where you were seated ten rows ahead of me
and I couldn’t even see the top of your head
and you couldn’t hold my hand at take off
when I swore we would never break from
the earth’s grip on us.

When I see the bridge now
like a toy thing from the air
I know that I am home
and relief
like water floods all the pocked
and empty parts of me.
Because I made it.
I made it back home.

Ally Malinenko is the author of the poetry collections The Wanting Bone and How to Be An American (Six Gallery Press) as well as the YA novel This Is Sarah (Bookfish Books). Forthcoming from Low Ghost Books is a poetry collection entitled Better Luck Next Year. She’s at @allymalinenko mostly talking about David Bowie, Doctor Who and stupid cancer.

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