AUDEN LIVED UPSTAIRS
I sit at an outdoor table
Of the Passport restaurant
In front of 77 Saint Marks Place, eating
A plate of cous cous and drinking
An imported beer. A tourist climbs
The stairs to photograph Auden’s
Memorial plaque, but it has been removed.
The only thing for him to look at is
A white outline that stains the red bricks.
He photographs the wall as his wife stands
On the bottom step shouting for him to come down,
Afraid he’ll be arrested,
When an anonymous voice from the hallway
Calls out, “Licitum est.”
ERIK LA PRADE lives in New York. Some of his poems and articles have appeared
in The Reading Room, The Wallace Stevens Journal, Fish Drum, The Brooklyn
Rail, Rain Taxi, The Hat, and The New York Times. He recently published essays
in The Outlaw Bible of American Essays (Thunder’s Mouth Press) and Captures:
A History of Film and Video on the Lower East Side (Seven Story Press).
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