Spring 2007

Volume 2, Issue 1




You eat sushi
at your desk, your heart

-colored sweater
tied with silk at your chest,

white fingers waving,
transparent anemones.

Chopsticks discordant,
picking each glittering ball

from the top of each roll,
you dip in wasabi.

Each clump of rice, each
marble-sized mouthful –

raw tuna splits
when you choose to pull

with that garnet precision

you could use
to dissect me, and do.




When Valerie Gives You a Necklace


praise the tiny black
beads wrapped in silver

shipped from New Orleans
when a voodoo doll

was just what you wanted.
Touch your neck gently

as Porphyria’s lover
when you put it on

with your burgundy shirt
and your slim purple skirt

your pink corset dress
the bride veil-white tunic so sheer

she sees your navel.
Wear it through crying

bar brawls and velvet,
and wind – lots of wind.

Wear it to plays
and to the opera, La

Traviata. To bed, to every
bohemian shoppe,

to dinner, to breakfast
until you hate Valerie

as much as you hate
all your friends.

Rip it off, let
the dark glitter fall

into a blue box, a
brown paper bag.



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© 2007 Americana: The Institute for the Study of American Popular Culture