Buffalo Is Canceled: Robin Jordan

by / Feb. 2, 2019 11am EST

For our special blizzard-impacted issue, we asked the community for wide-ranging responses to a general question: “Where is Buffalo now?” Below is one such submission.



Are you bettering?


And things get even better

at flushing away without

being asked. We never asked.


Our recyclables

are really trash.


A person on a ladder

cuts their hand changing

a fluorescent bulb in a basement

glistening with queer kids

that just want to slow dance

in borrowed heels.


Did you know you can walk

in any direction down

unshoveled sidewalks

and still end up where

you began when you were

twelve? When your mother

locked you out of her immense

collapsing house that never

should have been built?


Columbus glares across

the street from the playground

of a middle school that can’t

roll down its windows.


At home a knob pops off

its drawer every time a cop

unholsters every time the laugh

of the girl behind the counter

sounds like sobbing every time

a man lurches in front of a bus

sloshing a glass full of brackish

telling us it wasn’t worth it

left eye pleading the steely

clouds behind him

telling us glory is the final

shuffle in praise of the disinterested

god that wove the chemicals.


He asks if I’ve seen the sky.

Just lift your chin. See? Like this.

Lift it. Like this. Go on.

Just lift it. Like this. Just look.

Look up. Like this. Look.


And isn’t it better.

Robin Jordan, 36, teaching artist and poet

If you’d like to submit an answer to our question to our readers—”Where is Buffalo now?”—email your response, in whatever form it might take, to