Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsSpring 2012 v11n1
print version

Down and Out

Wynona Stone is having trouble broaching.
She’d hoped to float. A stiff swig usually
appeases. Not today, though, nosireee.

Lunchtime, she turns the soaps on, doesn’t watch.
She eats ham slices, peeling from the pack,
and folds her clothes: a wad of poly-blends,

worn uniforms, a slip she can’t take back
and so keeps washing, wishing it would shrink.
She is, by all accounts, a wishy-washer,

sanguine humor fading into pink
unmentionables. She thinks she needs a shot
of gusto, potent-proof, or—maybe, no

she needs another preposition: at
something, her shot should be. That’s better, yes,
but what? A standard-issue happiness?

The headset voice: Is that not what you had?
Good question, thinks Wynona, and maybe so:
she’s not unhappy, but she’s not unsad.  

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