Poem of the Week | July 09, 2013

This week we’re featuring a new poem by Austin Allen.  Allen is a poet, essayist, and the Editor-in-Chief of the Poetry Genius project at Rap Genius. His poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Iron Horse Literary Review, Measure, The Nervous Breakdown, Unsplendid, and elsewhere. His essays have been featured by Poetry Foundation, Open Letters Monthly, Big Think, and other outlets. He lives in New York City.

Author’s Note:

“The Charm” is an attempt to condense my experience of a very condensed city. I started writing it on a plane circling over JFK Airport.

The Charm


Onyx locket.
Carven and dark, it
gleams from Bronx to tip.
Is found
each night, and stolen.
the same-shaped hole in
each thief’s pocket,
gives each the slip.
Is washed clean underground
by that black market
out of which it came.
bearing your name.