Tiana Reid


On my 27th birthday, I felt seven
again, hearing and then watching the bulldozer shatter.

I was so surprised at how surprised I was at the speed of the demolition.
Just last week, I could not see Atlantic Avenue
—not even at all.
No little air for squinted heists.

Now Atlantic is in my backyard, a middling gray, unaware cars cathecting my coffee break.

What’s left is a dehiscence, a gaping hole where
the construction workers stand around.
They are so close. I feel I could reach out and
touch them, but then they might touch back.

It is funny and true
what they say, at least in my hometown of Toronto
(it is a town)
(because I always forget what they say here and now in the city of all cities),
but in that town that was once a
they say that there are only two seasons
—winter and construction.
They say this not only to mark how industry
squeezes out all they can get but also to mark
a judicial slowness.

To have this childhood myth deeply engrained in my body
and then to wake up to another dead building
made dead
by all the guys standing around.
All they need is a big machine with a big lever.

I called it a bulldozer but I don’t think that’s what it is

I did some fine research with the Bureau of Land Management and I believe
I am looking at
the bucket and
the excavator and
the “thumb” attachment
the last of which grabs stuff
during a demolition.

And other times too.


slow motion is
no different.

the pixels offer sludge,
sometimes messed-
up body.

your mess will not
be cleaned. we will
sit in the grime, wasted views of the billionth time.


wayward on the beat

my grandmother crawls
on the floor and the security
camera catchers her. I
mean, security catches her.

Tiana Reid

Tiana Reid is a Toronto-born writer living in New York City. Her work has appeared in Bitch, Full Stop, Maisonneuve, Mask Magazine, The Toast, VICE, and The New Inquiry, where she is an editor. She is also a PhD candidate in English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University.