By Dorothy Barresi
Winner of the 1990 Barnard New ladies Poets Prize.
Read or Download All of the Above (Barnard New Women Poets Series) PDF
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Extra info for All of the Above (Barnard New Women Poets Series)
Hypodermic needles and cash registers emptied themselves in your presence. Cars went head-on. Sympathy, old motor, ran out or we grew old, our tongues wearing little grooves in our mouths clucking disappointment. Page 22 Michael, what pulled you up by upstart roots and set you packing, left the rest of us here, body-heavy on the edge of our pews. Over the Reverend's lament we could still hear laughter, your mustache the angled black wings of a perfect crow. Later we taught ourselves the proper method for mourning haphazard life: salt, tequila, lemon.
Page 33 Mystery Their words harden in the turning air, little earrings of light. I saw, I hate, you never. Ashtrays and pillows begin to orbit the room. Whatever furniture they have rears up on hind legs and howls. Not even the stove's clock can catch its breath when they argue. Its arms windmill, making the seasons slip a cog. A buckeye tree in the yard goes green to burnt orange in a matter of minutes. Their dog turns suddenly old and blind and cannot read the book of a dead sparrow held open in its paws.
Each stopped once to bow his small mechanical head; all but Judas, who carried rope and silver back into the humming works. And all but Grandpa Bert, who would not stop his curses or his hammering to watch. This month the rain turns its black wheel against my bedroom window. My teeth wake at odd hours, throbbing. Earthworms knot and slick the garden and last night I dreamed you back, Bert Maggio, wearing death's leather apron and tools. Standing at the foot of my bed, you saw me through the wrong end of a telescope, all that was likely and unlikely in your immigrant life, come true.