2 Poems by Alex Gallo-Brown

Don't Like Rich People

A girl says, “I have a thing against rich people.”

She’s not talking to me but I lean a little closer

because the conversation sounds promising

and then she says, “and I have a thing against

poor people, you know the ones who don’t read.”

She titters, making a sound like a tin warehouse

door, the way it rattles after it’s slammed shut,

or the way silverware sounds slipped from

the dining room table onto a tile floor.

It’s funny, after all, the callous rich, the illiterate poor.

“I’m just kind of anti-humanity right now,” she continues

the girl destined to become one and not

the other.


Georgetown Boys

Visiting a friend in DC

we go down to a bar in Georgetown

to see a few of his friends from high-school.

Walking among the crowd of Georgetown boys

in soft pastels, button-downs and polos

alligators snapping hungrily above their left nipples

I’m not sure it would surprise me

if I were to find out they were all born

from the same mother,

a single extraordinarily productive attractive

and sexually-active creature.

I imagine if this were the case

the men wouldn’t call her a “whore”

they would say “childgiving professional”

or “humanity purveyor,” or something like that.

I move through the crowd observing

and mingling with America’s elite

its favorite sons, these Georgetown boys

hair sheared short as sheep.

In twenty years they’ll wear only slight variations

of these freshly-scrubbed faces

and their big houses will be exchanged

for other, equally big houses

maybe the TVs will be wider

with clearer picture than the ones they have now

or the kitchens shinier.

Their pretty mothers will be replaced

by equally-pretty wives

and the crystal of scotch will never be

very far away.

I rub shoulders with them

feeling oddly distinct, almost regal

in my brown skin and five o’clock shadow

the royal blue-and-gold Brooklyn baseball cap

bought in a small clothing store on Flatbush Avenue

sitting atop my head, a crooked crown.

Jammed up in the crush against the bar

I attempt conversation with a kid

in creamsicle-colored polo and shorn curls.

But immediately I feel him tense

hear the words

who is this guy

as he tries to ebb away

into one of the many tributaries in the crowd.

I repeat the words aloud

who is this guy.

An excellent question and one

I’m not sure I can answer presently

to either of our satisfactions.

But there’s pleasure

that he won’t be able

to answer it either.

Alex Gallo-Brown studies creative writing at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. He is simultaneously at work on a poker memoir and trying to quit gambling.