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)
Page 46 The Registry of Walls and Edges In the hour of luminous change between a little roast beef and a little TV, cop shows pouring gray light across the walls, us, more than once in that hour have we dawdled on the front stoop to worry about love. Where it all ends. That tidal emotion. Sweet getting close, followed by sweeter getting away. Love fades, we say, shrugging as though we'd hit on the real reason the undead walk among us only to lose their sad, bewildered faces in a mirror. Or why our mothers carried aspirin for years in the bottoms of purses, though what's solid surely wears away to nothing in no time: white dust, a speck of lint where the raised letters used to be.
So she fishes the little guy deeper, this way and that, exhorting him in the Spanish I don't have until Budweiser cans and redeemable diet Cherry 7-Up cans come spinning at her feet, and flies rise ecstatic there, big as dimes. I'm in my car by now, nothing fancy. It's a four-door because I've somehow recently passed into the clear age and zone of dependable transportation, and every month a bill reminding me of the rate of exchange for a little peace of mind on the freeways. I remember the kid at the dealership.
My breath falls through its own trapdoor. I who have said, let the thing be what it is. Who fed popular children coins of attention, held down the cowed corners of my eighth-grade dances. Who was born like all homely girls old enough to know better I asked you once what was it like to grow up handsome, meaning loved. Just now I've forgotten your answer. In this garage, where wrecked cans of motor oil compete with garden tools for a dying season, you row the silver barbell up and I'm meant to see everything injures.
All of the Above (Barnard New Women Poets Series) by Dorothy Barresi