William Leggat

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
solid, white,
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
long forgot.
And for each rat I see or hear,
I curse the lot
I’ll never have,
the one I never knew to want.


Author's Bio:

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.