Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsSpring 2018  Vol. 17 No. 1
an online journal of literature and the arts
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It’s Wednesday which means she sits
in a red sarong. You wait across the room,
young and bow-tied while her glass of merlot
and stuffed tomatoes go untouched like her book,
The Catcher in the Rye. Tomorrow brings
Lolita, the softcover first edition
green as her pantsuit, a bowl of pea soup
slowly losing steam. Despite all this
she condenses to irrelevance
in your life though still obvious
prey for laughter. But when I serve up
that story to guests you hardly smile,
not because you’re embarrassed
at your hand-to-mouth past or piqued
by how obsessed I seem with every fact
about you, your indifference more
a disguise for the act of overlooking
my failure to find anything
about myself worth mentioning.
It’s as if I’d come to dinner naked
and you’d pulled the tablecloth around me.
There’s a grimmer bareness
and sometimes I hide like a child
by turning on the lights. Just sitting there
you’re everywhere like snow
around the snowshoe hare,
generous without even trying.  

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