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Published September 2, 2017
"One-Way Christopher Street" by Jack Riccardo-Wood (3rd Place) - Wax Poetry and Art

One-Way Christopher Street

by Jack Riccardo-Wood

Rainbows march in radiant rows,
they talk sing smile below
the orange-pink glow street lamps
of One-Way Christopher Street

up left right
they flap flutter fly

the night air reaches out
to embrace their faces,
hued as the June 26th 2016 White House

their fabric-folded mouths
full of chants
in the storm-approaching breeze
“Love is love! Hate is hate!
How do you know your kids are straight?”
“Hey hey, ho ho!
Homophobia’s got to go!”
“Gay straight black white,
marriage is a civil right!”

their voices rise
louder than the petering silence in Soho
the crackling thunder
that fights with the hot-pink lightning
echo-flashing in the sky

and the rainbows stop
on One-Way Christopher Street,
their hands arms feet
silent straight still
outside of Stonewall,
looking at the aged bricks
the red LED-lit letters
in the window  

“S-T-O-N-E-W-A-L-L  I-N-N”
and up at their reflection,
the stripes of the 1969 flag
while fifty fiery stripes
parallel across the sky

the rainbows sway lift dance again
as they follow the “One Way” sign
and listen to the thunder reply
a weakened cry
that fades softer every time,
until all the sky has left
is liberated lightning,
a forever-fusion of hot-pink, marching rainbows,
as American as fabric-folded red white and blue

My name is Jack Riccardo-Wood, and I am currently an 18 year old high
school senior at Gill St. Bernard's School in Gladstone, NJ. I took Creative
Writing my junior year, and this year I’ve been in a yearlong Advanced
Creative Writing course offered by my school. We have been working an
entire semester on poetry. I will be attending Brown University in the fall
where I plan to continue writing poetry and short stories, and take further
creative writing classes. Several poems and short stories of mine have
been published in my school’s literary magazine called,
The Unknown
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Third Place: Poetry Contest #13

One-Way Christopher Street

by Jack Riccardo-Wood
(Martinsville, New Jersey, USA)
Cover image: Pride flag - Wax Poetry and Art.
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3. One-Way Christopher Street