Spring 2013 • Vol. XXXV No. 2 Poetry |

The Years

Two-by-two. Autumn and winter. Summer and spring. Father and daughter on the right lane of a road. In the distance, an ocean, or the shore. Seagulls and laughter. When they brought me up I was the wild pack of dogs and I was the teat. I was the beans and ever-blesséd cornbread. Fried eggs and gravy. Wild mustangs and wild flowers. The little girl pulls the fingers off grown men and keeps them in a tiny purse. The little girl pulls the hearts out of grown women and eats them with salt and pepper. Morning has broken. There was no wedding china. The man and the woman made a shadow in the bedroom, and the shadow made a child. Another year, and the people all sing the same songs. Another year, champagne bottles, cigarette butts, black-eyed peas, dirty napkins. What future does the future hold? What tense in which do I reside? Country line dancing. Wind sprints. Hopscotch, and almost everything else that requires two feet. Was I born Christian and split? Was I born g

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