Kitchen Table MFA (World Above): Champions of Norwood Street

This poem is part of the Kitchen Table MFA, a series that showcases writing communities through interviews and creative writing.

In cities around the world, hundreds of millions 

Of thin walls divide sets of lives like parallel 

Universes. If quiet, you can hear the hunger. 

Lying in bed at night, when you roll away from

your lover, you might be closer to the breath

and arms of another. Sheetrock might be the 

only thing separating you from infidelity, because 

you are almost sleeping together. Decades ago 

in Philadelphia, goaded by my twin sister, we 

pressed ears to drinking glasses pushed against

a wall and listened as our pro-boxer-neighbor beat

his wife like an opponent. Facing each other, we 

heard wincing blows come staccato when he 

was throwing combinations. Twice, the thud

of her head crashed to the hardwood, unlike

the stretched canvas on which he often found

himself. He was undefeated in his house. Long

after they moved away, I mirrored my sister

slow- motioning her cup to the side of her head.

From her expression, I knew she heard what I

heard      punches.

Read Nancy Reddy’s interview with World Above here. World Above member Kit L. Lok’s poem can be found here.

Cole Eubanks

Cole Eubanks is retired as a public school teacher from the Philadelphia (PA) and Atlantic City (NJ) School Districts. Over the past fifteen years, he has presented in a wide disparity of venues including a Buddhist monastery, the Tunes against Turmoil Rock Festival, the Café Improv television show, and numerous radio programs. Cole has conducted three workshops for Stockton University’s Teen Arts Festival (Pomona, NJ) and was the featured poet for the Sovereign Ave Black History Jazz Celebration for seven years. In 2010, he won the Literacy Volunteers of America in Atlantic County’s Poet of the Year Contest. Cole’s work can be found in Poets against War, Apiary, Straycat, and Inferno.

Mashiro Momo

Art by Mashiro Momo from Pixabay.