By Dorothy Barresi
Winner of the 1990 Barnard New ladies Poets Prize.
Read Online or Download All of the Above (Barnard New Women Poets Series) PDF
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Extra resources for All of the Above (Barnard New Women Poets Series)
All night ice loosens and grinds toward Canada. We feel it more than hear, and ore boats steer darkly into the issuance of their lights, their names, as we did not one hour ago, supplicants in the doorway's jittery neon. We paid eight dollars to enter what is spare, cool, clean. We left behind fish stink and diesel fuel. But what Europe is this? Like the music, the dancers' faces Page 18 would give no clues. They are whiter than pain or distraction; their arms dovetail as though beneath black turtlenecks a cavity waited, red and humming, for larval wings to fold twice, re-enter.
Page 32 One year taught you English enough. But it was fifty years not knowing how to dress for spring in western New York, where steamheat bled the walls and a pair of long johns gossiped against the radiator into May. " In my dream the language you spoke was again beautiful, wrong for this life. Hard luck and responsibility, I won't bother you again, or try explaining these midnights spent in a dark kitchen, only the stove's clock radiant. It took so little to make you happy. Cambric, horsehair, three-penny nails and once a year, a stand of flowering dogwood you walked into and out of on your way to Niagara Avenue, head down now, because one miracle you said was enough for a working man.
As we will here tonight in the tiny Page 20 bathroom crowded with our tribe and generation bowing to mirrors, the glimpse of smokey, downturned faces you, me, in ritual greeting to our neatly razored lines. Page 21 Comeuppance for Michael, fallen through a skylight Your enemies call it comeuppance and relish the details of a drug too fine, how long you must have dangled there beside yourself. In the middle distance of your twenty-ninth year, night split open like a fighter's bruised palm, a purple ripeness.