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an open letter to the south jersey repo company, 1995

Updated: Apr 18, 2022

By Dina Folgia

to whom it may concern / concerning / slow burning felt for the man left weeping

broke / broken / brakes newly fixed under cherry red aluminum / all new / call to god

in tantrum / tandem / a near-tantric shocked embrace tears falling from cheek to street

a wife and her grown man / manly / ma’am please sign here we have other places

to be / behave / between a rock and a debt place / fret place / wet face turned into

the crook of her neck begging money from thin air / thinning hair / twin bare

palms coated in sweat and painted in mechanic grime / whine / time to greet

ten years of missed car payments / pay rent / in layman’s screeching terms

we were never destined to look poor always gilded / tilted / willed into

existence a life without the repo man licking / nitpicking / sticking to the

bumper of my father’s defaulted car / salt-laden tar / on par with his father leaving

a garish empty house for a mother of three / see / repossessed an entire family

beginning a chain of claiming / reclaiming / explaining how easily trees can burn

from the very root / the very brute / the very route from father to father to daughter

fumbling money all the way down / downward / crown her the winner of the great

jones race keeping up / and sleeping up / and creeping up from the poorest garden soil

to the thinnest shaking leaf / brief / thief in the night except he’s the thief and his dad

is also the thief so there’s no one to blame / defame / stake their claim but the flower

who tries to grow her bud from a shattered branch / battered branch / no chance

in hell she’ll grow enough to feed her own roots / that slow-grown fruit / suits her well

pinching pennies until she can shake instability from her forest / flourish / no more rest

only green diligence and restlessness here / money-barren frontier / sincerely yours


Dina Folgia is a poet based out of southern New Jersey. She was an honorable mention for the 2021 Penrose Poetry Prize, and was a 2020 AWP Intro Journals Project nominee. Her work can be found in Glassworks magazine, and forthcoming in the South Florida Poetry Journal and Sidereal Magazine. Follow her writing journey on Twitter: @dinafolgia

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