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The New Place

13 April, 2021

Read a Poem

The New Place

By Arya F. Jenkins

Is raw with potential
Were it not for
Wallpaper peeling
Dark paint swirls caked upon a bedroom wall
One cracked window
Another barely opening
Wind slivers wrap around your ankles
Emptiness creaks everywhere
Signs of madness linger in the kitchen
Where someone tried to build a small
Fire on linoleum
God only knows what the piles of
Rolled salamander rugs hold
Among their crumbs and
Residues of long-abandoned hopes and hungers
The chipped black-painted bathroom wall tiles
Collapse at the touch
The pipes in the gap behind the old bathtub
Hum and caw
No magical TV crew here to turn
People’s lives around in an hour
Just human hands brushing
Cobwebs aside from the ceiling and walls
Closets and shelves
Scrubbing away window clouds
Painting the ugliness out
Outside the room with broken crooked blinds
You can hear branches agitating against the clapboard 
And beyond a stream not yet frozen calling
When spring comes I will sing for you--
So you close your eyes
Fitting yourself kindly into nooks
Filling in the blanks like a ghost
Eager to be tucked into
That promise.
“The New Place” by Arya F. Jenkins from Love & Poison. Prolific Press. 2019. Used by permission of the author.
Arya F. Jenkins is a Colombian-American poet and writer whose poems have been published in numerous journals and zines such as Agave Magazine, Blue Heron Review, Cider Press Review, The Ekphrastic Review, The Feminist Wire, IO Literary Journal, Otis Nebula, Poetica Review, and Rag-Queen Periodical and been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. Her poetry chapbooks are: Jewel Fire (AllBook Books, 2011), Silence Has A Name (Finishing Line Press, 2016), and Love & Poison (Prolific Press, 2019). Her short story collection is Blue Songs in an Open Key (Fomite Press, 2018). Her novel, Punk Disco Bohemian, is due out from NineStar Press in fall 2021. Her website is at  and her blog at Find her also on Twitter @aryafj

Write a Poem

Write for 10 minutes while a TV program or movie is on, even during pauses or music. Use overheard speech. Then see if you can edit your draft into a poem.


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READ + WRITE: 30 Days of Poetry is a collaboration between Cuyahoga County Public Library and poet Diane Kendig. Our thanks go to Diane and the poets of Northeast Ohio who allowed us to share their poetry.