Patti Ann McEwin
Allyson Kalea Boggess
R. Gerald Dressen
||note: missing photos
NO SIDE WHEELS all-of-a-sudden-- Im aloft on my own
blue Schwinn with finger ringer and plastic streamers,
basket stuffed with red windbreaker. Howd I do it?
Steady pedal and single gear, all bright blue but, no bar,
cause Im a girl. On My Own! Dont think about it.
Not to fall but only pedal, (being held) by almost air or
(how keep going?
NOW IT IS YOUR TURN-- under lock and key, can you?
This is my life in yellow diary with brass parts. Broken
into. One of the many violations. Thought it was safe
in the maple drawer of my bedside table, between four
posters. I needed a stool to mount that bed. Up so high
there was plenty of space for a monster man with beard
and hat, who lay beneath the blue cotton skirt of it, wait-
ing to crush me, to (bury my breath.
EVERYONES BACKYARDS connecting with bushes,
metal gates with squeezable latches, exit holes under
scratch wire fences, cyclone, falling full into boxwood
hedges, making a crush mark, digging a hole, filling it
up with a mystery mixture, scooping it out, poured onto
cement, running down corridors between brick buildings
we crouch at the end, lining up miniature colored bottles,
empty of alcohol. Then we smoke, inhale and swear,
scratch our arms with a red hot pin. Three Ls leaping
throwing the SPUD ball, kicking the can, calling out
now-- (Youre IT !
TAKE OVER YOUR OWN life, under the bridge, in dark
garages-- I saw something in the twilight memory of
sprinkler summers that blends together with ruffled chips
and peanut butter sandwiches. Towers of Ritz. Listening
for the two-three-four-clang dinner bell, watching the
streetlamps. Time to head home to tuna noodle casserole
in birdnest baskets. Crossing the boundary to The Popcorn
Stand on the corner of Downer, long wax fingers and
sexy lips, necklace of candy on stretch elastic, pastel dots
on white strips, twists of licorice, jawbreakers, whips
all of this just across the street from St. Pauls Episcopal,
making life difficult, cause (dirt sticks.
I HIDE MYSELF, under the carport, in the salamander
basement with its slick cement and huge oil burner,
under the peak of a sweltering attic, beneath the portico
where the bikes are kept, under the eyes (thank God)
of nobody no one. I hide myself with selected friends.
Blood sister, blood brotherwere together in this.
Pull up the comforter, pull down the lid. Cover myself
with hot tub water, let it out to the perfect level, lather-
ing soap bar between my legs. I watch myself in the
steamed-up mirror, wipe a swatch to see my face
Thats who youll be til forever is over. Back into bed
to find the warm spot. I hide myself behind musty
drapes, under a leaf hole, in a bare bush nest. I hide myself
in a bucket of grass in the middle of the hay field
(the better to find myself.
GO FOR THE TREES are hiding somebody RUN, quick
faster than anyone-- down to the cottage with its yellow
bulb where mosquitoes gather in a kind of mist. When it
is bedtime, June bugs crawl over the screens looking for
holes, tactile, clinging. Canvas rolls down as the rain
sweeps towards us leaping from bed and back to bed
my brother and I, over Spit Sea, while Mother rests on
her green divan paging through magazines, dreaming of
summers anywhere elsewhere, Latin men. Her legs are
smooth. Her legs are tan. Toes painted a shocking pink
color in rubber flip-flops. She doesnt know of the dangers
right here on the way from the Big House I run so hard
I dont even feel the rough cement and hickory shells,
broken open, past tall dark shadows, lurking, leering
(Thank God I am fast.