Winter 2014 • Vol. XXXVI No. 1 Poetry |

This Is the Pink

—for Jennifer The pink paint on the innocence of fear …"The Lovers of the Poor"—Gwendolyn Brooks Mugger. Our mugger. This dumb kid. Him. To name the thing he was turned into. Did we ever tell you about this kid? To bear the name before the storm and thus be saved. So this kid fired a warning shot off the Freret Street Sisters of Mercy. Pink spark over the courtyard: where a saint succumbing to ivy (in a grotto of pinker stone) stared out at us over the vacancy. Saint who'd suffered gang taggings and now shot us the smug and knowing look of the accomplice. Was he black, someone asked. That kid: so many names in the telling, sometimes inflected with violence, sometimes (at parties) inflected with kitsch. Did we ever tell you about that boy who told me to hike up my shirt? Said just pull your shirt up over your head and you'll both be lucky. That kid we imagined again years later on CNN, as the storm crashed in: the famous storm

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