Three Poems

the Gold Coast

standing in the bookstore

my mother is two shelves away holding a noir mystery novel
with a black cover and
the new Tom Wolfe
it’s not that new it’s from 2012

the year of the summer that you relapsed
by the Gulf of Mexico
sitting on the sand in the dark

I’m running my finger up the spine
of a paperback
that your father had published in 2015

inside there’s a photograph of him looking aloof
his glasses goofy and hair eschew
he looks lovable

I remember standing on Thompson Street in your apartment
looking at a photograph of him with a camel
always words scrawled on the back, overseas phone calls saying
and how he adores you

in the new Tom Wolfe
it’s not that new it’s from 2012
it’s called “Back to Blood”
in it he writes about Miami, about Key Biscayne and I think of how
Miami is on the Atlantic


for you, in Cannes

across the Atlantic
aged 20
your indiscretions seem wildly cinematic

in Texas I’m
selling produce, wine, overpriced cashews
to the background noise of a buzzing cold case
$1.99 bags of ice

bored of myself
of the daily rain
humidity like a noose

whistling pleasantries

comforted and troubled
by the familiarity of home

your night, dark and dubbed (in my mind) in French
is a relief

a reminder that there are countless foreign worlds
outside of this store and outside of my line of sight
that I am tangibly connected to

that dance past midnight
that play out like a storm on Doppler


New York's Boldest

when I was manic I lived in Chinatown
and ran miles after dark

around the Department of Justice buildings
past the police buses
“New York’s Boldest” emblazoned on the side in orange and blue

up and down the stairs of courthouses
whispering secrets
that I couldn’t quite hear

I didn’t eat often
was afraid of elevators
would run the steps instead, the beaten down marble
smooth beneath my feet

I would count the seconds at the crosswalks
and weave through cars
everything seemed mysterious and the world
full of wonder

it is

Zoe Contros Kearl was born in New Jersey, raised in Texas, and educated at NYU. She is a poet and writer now based in Miami, FL. Check out more work on her website.