Debbie Peters

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Artwork by Gene McCormick

Manhattan Dead Ends

For years we negotiated this city
by foot, bus, subway and car

linking two selves across the concrete of
hundreds of streets and avenues

our hearts at peace, minds at ease

But now we're gridlocked at every corner
           no intersection in common —

just two one ways going in opposite directions.

Artwork by Gene McCormick


                  After Jericho Brown and R.D. Laing

I love you. She loves you.
You say you love us both.

           You need me because you love me.
           You love her because you need her.

You need her more than you love me,
But she doesn’t love you like I love you.

          I want you to love me like I love you,
          But that won't give you what you need.

You want me to love you like she loves you,
But that won't give me what I need you to want.

          I want you to love me—and only me.
          She wants you to love her—and only her.

She and I want you to love only one. You say
You love us both, but you only love yourself.


Debbie Peters is an attorney by profession, living in NYC. Her poetry has appeared in One Sentence Poems and The Writers' Cafe Magazine. She dedicates her work to Gerson Lesser with whom she shared a tale well-told, full of love and meaning, signifying everything.