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By Gary Maggio

My street, modest as it is,

this night is like Paris, or Hamburg, or Istanbul,

the moonlit streetlights warm, casting

yellow glints on car hoods that one day will be relics

and charming, and casting long shadows too

of old red hydrants across the road

and on the manes of small blond dogs

whose walkers wear black cloaks

and domed hats of black felt.


There are no tall buildings here

in this my city. The cobblestones,

were they still here, would glow

of lamplight and rain. And from the glow too

of Mars in the west sky which in olden days

was referred to as the North Star,

red and warm and lone.

It’s an old night here, reminiscent

of worried carefree cities


where sweet families walked the streets

late at night,

refused to sleep, grateful to be awake,

to be silent and alive.

My street, reminiscent, calm,

the light of Mars timeless, enduring,

and the world really is instead not dying,

the city and all cities waiting

to breathe again and believe in northern starlight.

Pencil sketches

Covid nurse decompressing.jpg

Poet, actor, and teacher Gary Maggio began writing poems when he was accepted into John Montague’s poetry workshop at the NYS Writers Institute in 1999. In the early 2000s, he created the Capital Region Poets Workshop, which met twice a month for over eight years.

He has also worked as an actor in the Albany area for the last decade, performing at Cap Rep, Curtain Call Theatre, Theatre Voices, Homemade Theater and Albany Civic Theatre. He works part-time as a “standardized patient” at Albany Medical College, acting for and teaching communications to medical students and residents

You can read more of Gary's poems and see his artwork at

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