On Account of Getting His Leg Broke by New York City

Browse By

Hit play below to hear Robert Lynn read his poem “On Account of Getting His Leg Broke by New York City” and scroll down for the full text. “On Account of Getting His Leg Broke by New York City" is featured in MQR’s Fall 2020 Issue.

On Account of Getting His Leg Broke by New York City

cops they gave my friend Carl a city year in Rikers some call it
a bullet the DA called it a sweetheart deal to keep him away from

all those white supremacists upstate but at his sentencing bailiffs made
us leave early when we started hugging told us this is not a wedding

as if we got lost on the way to Our Lady of Perpetual Ignominy
mistook the twenty-six cops in the courtroom for a choir all of them

staring down the metal-detected crowd it took six hours to visit
Rikers Island for an hour with Carl in the last of five waiting rooms

they had pictures of the Carnegie Hall in Jail program I asked
Carl about it he thought it was a funny joke this is how I learned

even governments say we used to to tell stories about what they did
just the once then Carl asked me to send more letters he puts them

under his flimsy mattress for extra padding time was up we got one
hug no one mistook it for a wedding I got back to my phone after all

that to twenty-seven angry emails asking where I was I replied to them
fuck you one by one with the kind of deliberation Carl told me he’s been

practicing no I didn’t say fuck you I said I’m sorry I was out of pocket
it won’t happen again it should’ve but it didn’t I want to be that kind

of friend who sends letters I just write them and feel bad about
feeling bad Carl just for you I bought some really soft paper

“On Account of Getting His Leg Broke by New York City” appears in MQR‘s Fall 2020 Issue on Persecution. You can purchase a copy here.