An Open Letter to 3-1-1
Our tap’s a trickle, a memory
of dreams not gone, but put on hold
to pay the rent.
Here hands too callused to need a rest
find pockets too empty to get one.
Mom takes us to Coney Island
for some ferris-wheel fun, where
water tastes like cotton
candy spun by hands, too rough, by
men in painted smiles.
They’re hiding, or hidden, or both.
Behind blinking neon
their kettle-corn, come-one, come-all eyes
flash bloodshot through the window slats.
She goes to work on the Upper East,
brings me to see floors like glass, but
no finger grime, all Lysol-clean.
I look out over Central Park
and wish I could be this tall.
In this dream, I am awake
til some steel-rimmed eyes
offer me a Voss.
And now our water tastes of broken
pipe. Of dreams not gone, but
And for each rat I see or hear,
I curse the lot
I’ll never have,
the one I never knew to want.
Will Leggat is a high school senior from Brooklyn, New York who attends Phillips Academy Andover and works as a Prose Reader for The Adroit Journal. His writing is forthcoming or has been featured in The Eunoia Review, Bending Genres, Crashtest, and others. Right now, he’s probably on a train…somewhere.