Warning Coloration | Kimberly Reyes

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Kimberly Reyes has received fellowships from the Poetry Foundation, Columbia University, Callaloo, and the Prague Summer Program for Writers. She is currently a writer in residence at the Pacific Felt Factory and a co-founder of the Study Hall arts and activism fundraising initiative in San Francisco. Her nonfiction has appeared in the Associated Press, Entertainment Weekly, Time.com, The New York Post, The Village Voice, Alternative Press, ESPN the Magazine, Jane, Honey, NY1 News, and The Best American Poetry blog, among other places. Her poetry appears widely online and in journals, including The Feminist Wire, The Acentos Review, RHINO, Columbia Journal, Yemassee, New American Writing, Juked, Cosmonauts Avenue and Eleven Eleven. Her full-length manuscript, Running to Stand Still, was a semi-finalist for the 2017 Luminous Origin Literary Award and a finalist for Civil Coping Mechanism’s 2017 Mainline Competition. You can follow her writing ventures here: kimberlyreyes.online 



Timed Out of New York

Ordering off the off
menu at Veselka.
2am army of sloshed
blintz besties, flashing
out-of-town, post-
Palladium kids the real
music of the city
through teeth-mashing
sweet and sour scenes:

Bartering for space,
freestyle mixtapes on
(buying from Papito,
who knew Lisa Lisa,
the after-school run to 8th
in black Lycra for nubuck
buttered Doc Martens.

Chicken’s feet on Canal,
between the grey third rail and a
magic yellow Sports Walkman's
stomping bass.
Mouth breathing through the
smack of expired Chinatown.

Know better than sandals
antagonizing rats with red toes
on snarled subway platforms.

Singing in chorus with warring street
poets, not soliciting vegetables:
“’Shroom haven, get a
peace of heaven,” hustling
marked time on St. Marks.

Gleaning from glistening Drag
Queens, at Mac, on Christopher.
Gentle. Patient. Painted, nodding
dirty, platinum men. The first to say:
“You’re beautiful,” to the drum of
the Jungle Brothers.

Underage and
our ambition gnarled
with the blonde’s.

We blinked.
The Black and Brown
boys’ vogue got
snatched. Up
town, 3am 4 train.

We had to leave.