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Erika Meitner (she/her/hers) reads the poem, "At Thirty" by Lynda Hull.

Erika Meitner:

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My name is Erika Meitner, and I'm gonna read a poem called  "At Thirty" by the poet Lynda Hull.

This is a sort of quintessential  New York poem to me. And it's one that both makes me  homesick because I grew up in New York and also makes me feel like  I'm back in the city again, even though I haven't been able to  go home since the pandemic started.

Whole years I knew only nights: automats & damp streets, the Lower East Side steep with narrow rooms where sleepers turn beneath alien skies. I ran when doorways spoke rife with smoke & zippers. But it was only the heart’s racketing flywheel stuttering I want, I want until exhaustion, until I was a guest in the yoke of my body by the last margin of land where the river mingles with the sea & far off daylight whitens, a rending & yielding I must kneel before, as barges loose glittering mineral freight & behind me façades gleam with pigeons folding iridescent wings.

Their voices echo in my voice naming what is lost, what remains.