By Dorothy Barresi
Winner of the 1990 Barnard New ladies Poets Prize.
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Extra info for All of the Above (Barnard New Women Poets Series)
Here in the long end of the smug, bankable eighties, I want to remember you this way, chin in your hands, a little teary-eyed watching thin rivulets form down the bumper in the dust. Watching for the fire ants that come, like you, to carry what sweetness they can on their backs toward nothing we can see here in the distance, just across the border. December 1988 Page 44 Bombay Hook Wildlife Refuge Past the dull, slack-jawed barns of lower Delaware, cornfields have knelt down for the year, and cows glazed with cold do nothing as we pass in your husband's late model Buick.
I think if a live pig were thrown skating and shitting onto the gorgeous dancefloor, no one would stop posing, or crouch down, knife between his teeth and stroking the smooth parquet croon hunger, hunger, hunger in his blood's first language. The suburbs have given back their angels. Refineries rise then sink like wedding cakes into the filthy riverwe've seen it often enough and it is wrongheaded or lachrymose to wish the Old World back as well, with its babushkas and lamentations, prayer cloths, boats reeking of garlic cloves by which we washed up on these shores.
I could be me at thirteen or eighteen, but I am fat, six, deeply aware that we are given the world and each other and no wonder we're lonely. But what is TV if not a screen where light divides down, where particles charge and involve us and we are kissed awake from one native sorrow to another's just because we are watching? We're alive. And Oswald, that fox-faced, want-faced man makes a sudden deep O with his mouth in our living room because he has not fallen down yet. It is the astonishing first kiss of a bullet in the gut.
All of the Above (Barnard New Women Poets Series) by Dorothy Barresi