Matthew Lippman
No Ma, I'm Not a Gangster

Peacetime in brooklyn

when the cops close off the bridge for one reason or another

and I see a guy with a phone in his ear talking to jesus

like jesus was his sergeant

and maybe he's a cop too

in this time of peacetime

all over the borough of souls so caught up in god

everything is real under the brick

up by the gangsters social clubs and all them suckers

got beauty

whose still peeling onions in jail somewhere high up in the hills

during this time of peacetime in brooklyn

when I run across the bridge and am caught up in thought

about women and women

and the two men escaped from some upstate prison considered mad and

dangerous and all the while I'm thinking

this is flying

Found In Volume 25, No. 04
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Matthew Lippman
About the Author

Matthew Lippman is the author of Salami JewMonkey Bars, and The New Year of Yellow, which won the Kathryn A. Morton Poetry Prize.