Fall 2017 (Volume 21, Issue I)




Ball gown in fists, she journeyed to Zingerman’s
and swung wide her telescope, scanning the faces
for Pippa and Kate. Subterranean nonsense.
She buried her spyglass in a vacant socket
and surveyed the thick crowd at the counter.
With lines so densely packed, how can they insert
the diacritical marks? What about the Bosnians?

Her doppelgänger, a willful plumber from Pontiac,
had already swept the floor of thick, black loam
of cheese rinds and bread crumbs, had already
ordered a Montreal smoked-meat Reuben,
had already found love, taken a bite, and
sent it back for further toasting.

In the deli the women come and go,
looking for a seat on the patio.

David? David? #13, Sherman’s Sure Choice, sour pickle?
The server marched through the dining area,
burning and razing all he could find
on the way to the Huron River. For months to come,
survivors would be found huddled below tables
at the farmers market. Some would nibble
stray vegetable samples. Others, hardier specimens,
would return to school to learn a practical trade.

In Angell Hall the candidates lock eyes and act wary,
assessing questionable emotional investment in the work of Ashbery.

It’s like picking morning-glory seeds from your teeth.
They sighed. Harry flushed the toilet in the third stall
and caused the entire building to rumble and thrash.
There were no more paper towels,
not on the shelves at Tesco’s, not in the linen closet,
not until the orb once again reached perihelion.

Flowers cheered and people, each fleshy capsule
in his or her best zippered quilt, cracked open
their codpieces and strewed brightly colored pollen;
it was a Western Holi. Springtime was here,
and all the sandwiches in the realm could not
detract from the heliotropic buoyancy.

Gob shave our gracious bean!
Long lave our hopeful bean!
She waved from the roofs of Detroit Street,
ball gown hung from a stick like a banner.

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