Sidewalk Songs 1957

My cousin Marty

Wanted to be a star.

All summer that year

He sweated on the corner of Valentine Avenue and 196th Street

With three of his friends

Singing a cappella love songs.

Marty had a pompadour and

Tight black pants

When I passed him

I always called out, hoping to be noticed

But he didn’t answer.

They practiced every day

Out on the street

I suppose

The apartments were too crowded, too hot

Smelled of chicken soup and garlic.

I suppose on the corner they could imagine

An audience as big as

The world.

About Karen To and Fro

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