blackbird online journal spring 2002 vol.1 no. 1




There they were!
under tops made—I'm not sure of what—
a bit of tissue, a sheerest stretch of gauze, filament.
They roamed sheathed in triangles
fixed like band aids.
I alarmed myself.
How I wanted to heft and pet and handle.

It was like those first fall days at school
—the one I recall, Celeste,
back from her summer
was breasted
—suddenly, entirely—her whole body
a shout under a ribbed blue sweater,
as if she'd invented a punch line
or bought the get-up at a tourist road stand.
It didn't matter who she'd ever even been before.
At night in front of bedroom mirrors,
it was Celeste we searched out,
looking for the nub of what she'd become.

But today, outdoors—the young women—
and I was short of breath.
The whole street tinseled in the quick spring air.

The sound as they wisped past. I was unhinged.
What I might do.
What I might never do in a life,
and then, still, husband, my life be done.  

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