We Can Stand the Sound of Progress Like Jackhammers and Chainsaws But We Do Not Feel Our Neighbor Has the Right to Disturb Our Peace by Ally Malinenko

It is late, nearly eleven and the plows are moving up and down this Brooklyn street
and you and I have been fighting for what feels like forever
not just about us
but also about the plows
until sick of it,
I pull on my boots
storm outside
through the snow of the biggest blizzard
this city has seen in years,
just after the last hurricane
and eleven months before the next
Storm of the Century
that seems to happen every year.

Hey, I yell
waving my arms at the men
in the machines.
He looks down at me.
How long you going to be doing this? I ask
arms folded against the cold that whips up the estuary.
I sway,
cold and drunk.
What? he says
How long you going to be doing this? It’s late.
He laughs.
Points at all the snow as if it’s obvious
that the mayor won’t rest until it’s gone.

He puts the truck in gear
and the retched beeping starts again.

It’s late I reiterate
like a mother tired of her disobedient children.

Some of us want to sleep.
I say, even though all I want now is another scotch.

Go to bed, he says
Nice pajamas, he adds
They are fuzzy and pink with little white skulls on them,
and until now I had forgotten that I was outside in my pajamas
with no bra.
He laughs again
before dropping the plow
against the concrete
and making another pass at all that
goddamn snow.


About Ally Malinenko