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January 13, 2023

Driving on North Street

It was North Street, right?
where we entered our night

when you said the words—
those words that burn,

that make me want to undo
all of us, extricate, unbloom,

swallow my tongue, stop my ears,
gut this car, grind up its gears.

Take this and that, take it back,
strip away those years, bric-a-brac,

the little vandalisms we commit,
rendering each the other’s puppet,

petty violence against a surface:
ear, heart, bitter blue essence,

the nicked and wrinkled skin.
Take your muscle of the machine

that each night hums into dream
as it slowly dissembles beside me.

Turn, turn off this North Street,
I cannot bear a doubt so deep.


© the author

by Mary Buchinger

Mary Buchinger, author of Aerialist (Gold Wake, 2015), einfühlung/in feeling (Main Street Rag, 2018), /klaʊdz/ (Lily Poetry Review Books, 2021), and Virology (Lily Poetry Review Books, 2022), and winner of the Houghton and Varoujian Prizes, serves on the New England Poetry Club board and teaches at the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences in Boston. Her poems can be found in AGNI, Copper Nickel, Gargoyle, Interim, [PANK], phoebe, Plume, Queen Mob’s Teahouse, Salt Hill, Seneca Review, and elsewhere. Website:

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