Poems by Sarah Kobrinsky, Emeryvilles poet laureate

Emeryville, CA

Once the Rottenest City,
the City by the Bay.
Not that City over there,
but this one, Butchertown,
twenty-two feet above the sea,
where factories, tanneries,
lined the water’s edge,
with brothels, warehouses
full of brick, sweat and steel.
Now, the fruits of history,
of industry, condense
in this one square mile-
the blue and yellow mound
near the mouth of the bridge,
the white playful lamp
with its light on the future,
buildings full of dreamers
in this City by the Bay.

 —read at her inauguration Oct. 15, 2013

The Moonshining Place

At the edge of the city,
at the edge of the world,

at the edge between

the earth and endless sky,

the moonshining place,

the place where we hung
our long summer legs

over the edge and fought
the urge to drop a shoe
or sneak a real first kiss,

the place where we played


and Tag, you’re it!
we couldn’t breathe

or the sun went down,

the place where we came

on the quietest nights

to feel the moon kiss

the edge between

our skin and endless sky.

  —composed for the ribbon-cutting ceremony at Temescal Creek Park in March 2014.