blackbird online journal spring 2002 vol.1 no. 1



Cortland, 1970

   (reprinted by permission of Southern Illinois University Press)

Always Monday, light October drizzle
misting our hair, wet-
wool musk of our peacoats.
Remember your father's library?
Three-for-a-buck novels,

all the rosy headlights
he could dream, group-gropes he couldn't.
Breakfast was beer in a jelly
glass. Then the ten-block walk,
hardscrabble shacks

imploding, to swing shift
at Smith Corona. I still have the scar
acid etched through my jeans
that first night. Peeling them down
in the ladies' room, I found a black

circle the size of a quarter.
In May we married between small claims
and traffic courts, my mother
sweating in cheap mink, the best man
sniffling, aching to get straight.  

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