"The evidence is mounting that, in the range of affluent democratic states, the greatest number get the greatest good where government plays a greater role than it does in the U.S. Conversely, the U.S. has tried small steps toward smaller government in the last forty years—deregulation of businesses, stifling the growth of state employment, reducing taxes since 2000, and so on. These steps have coincided with terrific improvement for a few and worsening conditions for average Americans, a reduction in the common good."

Public housing, what many know as “the projects,” has long been the centerpiece of the nation’s effort to provide affordable homes for very low–income families. At the program’s height, there were more than 1.3 million units of federally funded public housing. More than a quarter of a million units have been demolished in the past twenty-five years. Though initially designed for the working poor and operated with minimum income requirements, in the 1960s public housing became the option of last resort for the elderly, disabled, and the poorest.

I lay on the cream shag carpet with my brother
and argue what a kobold is, and is not. I am nine.
Behind the oblong dresser in the basement
is a white stub of chalk with a wolf spider
crouching on it. It does not know I am about to pick it up.

When I am twenty-one, I clutch a cold ten dollar bill.
The gas attendant has a gold tooth.
Says, what are you all dressed up for, missy.
I smooth the gray wool of my bridge coat.
A bell chimes and my shoulder blades flinch.
I cannot see the snowflakes melting into my cuffs.
No eyes watch my body shuffle back to the car
across the ice, no witnesses.

Years later, a lover’s shadow traipses diagonally
across the floor of the limehouse. He’s just told me
he didn’t fall in love with me. The moon in splinters
across stack piles of buildings. I open his refrigerator,
gulp milk from a glass bottle.
There is nothing left for me to do.

My brother has been dead for nine years. A kobold:
a kind of sprite with thin, ivy-colored arms.
See, he is not here to dispute this.
This is what I think when the lover asks why I am
so quiet. My body shaped like a C at the foot of his bed.
My fingers coiled in blankets. Thick and coconut white.
I miss everything.