My City Beats Your City Every Day

Gary’s a city, too, and all due respect to the city of Gary and its residents, but Gary thanks God for my city.

My City Beats Your City Every Day
Photo by Max Bender / Unsplash

by Julián Martinez

My city beats your city like a dick and your city can’t even cum about it. Your city’s a wad of gum stuck to a barstool that my city peels off, thinks of chewing up but doesn’t because my city doesn’t want your city in its system for that long. My city hears your city’s sing-a-long at a bar and goes outside to rob your city’s unlocked new car. My city steals the donut out the trunk ‘cause my city’s fucking practical. My city will practically turn your city’s car into a fistfull of biscuits and gravy and feed your city’s car to my city’s dog Gary. Gary’s a city, too, and all due respect to the city of Gary and its residents, but Gary thanks God for my city. Your city wishes it could be Gary, to be breathing the same greasy smog as my city. My city got shit for cheap and jacks the price ‘cause it knows your city’s too scared to say something. My city has, like, eight sources of income. My city’s taxes look fucking wild. One of my city’s part-time jobs is magician at a children’s hospital. My city performs your city as a trick. My city does the bit about the wad of gum and robbing your city’s car. My city’s kids eat that shit up. My city can eat. My city can house. My city’s got more handguns than houses— that’s why the folks in my city invented house music. Your city looks like it’s about to lose it. My city breaks your city’s ankles and scores a lay-up while your city trips into my city’s lake. My city’s lake is so great that Sade thought coast-to-coast meant L.A. to my city. Fuckin’ A right. My city’s got big titty committees, little titty committees, titty pity committees, tough titty committees, stuffed up with stuffing ’til they tip titty committees and your city’s got titties but no committees, ‘cause your city lacks fucking committment. Your city got a nip-tuck and stopped being bricked up— could never be my city! My city’s got beef and tortilla in its teeth. My city treats diabetes like the name of an Ancient Greek god. My city’s got chops. My city chops your city and rolls your city into leftover papers. My city’s sick of the paperwork, sick of the hardness, sick of the anger and wants to be open. My city opens its lips and inhales your city. My city’s dying because it let your city inside. Both of our cities are dying, but your city’s gonna die first, which means my city can die happy. At least my city will die glad that it ain’t your fucking city.

Julián Martinez (he/him) is the son of Mexican and Cuban immigrants. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in HAD, Hooligan Mag, Maudlin House and elsewhere. Find him online at or @martinezfjulian, or find him IRL in Chicago.