blackbird online journal spring 2002 vol.1 no. 1




Once, there was.  
Ahead, steer now, confession.

The man’s voice, quiet as snow. 
Dressed like bridegrooms, the waiters
Bending in with insignificants: Pepper, Monsieur?

He chose the room: a crate of cooing doves,
The armor of a lemon pyramid, a sheltered view. 
The room filling. All the excuses made
For simple hunger. 

This is a beautiful place, I say, unfolding a napkin.
Not meaning for him to suffer.  

We sat at that expensive table
As at the nineteenth century. My father never said
The name I knew. The good blanks he left
Leave room to see: yet another story of a woman and a man. 

Not unspeakable; unsayable. 
I wanted him to know I understood the difference.
Maybe he thought, what occasion offered a man
He’d have been a fool not to take.

This was years ago. It was possible.
It is, still. 
So many questions.
We’ll need a chair, strong light.

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