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I Was in the Commons Kissing,
and Lucy Next to Me Kissing, Too

Both of us under one boy or another.
That’s how we spent our senior year,
Beacon Hill, Harvard Square,
Coolidge Corner, anywhere
but Belmont, or Westwood Center.

Boylston Street for bongs—Reefer

, incense, Yardley’s makeovers,
buffalo leather toe sandals—her baby was born
with encephalocele. While I held her,
I hoped she’d die, though tried to love her,
four months, she didn’t grow—Lucy rocking her,
cooing, passers-by smiled at the handsome mother,
then frowned—small gasps—when they looked closer—
my father paid for the funeral I don’t remember.
(There may not have been one.) Lucy had others—

a daughter, next a son, then nine years later,

she drowned in Maine, swallowed by the family pond,
at barely thirty, while I’m nearing sixty, and complain.

Martha Rhodes

Prairie Schooner

Spring 2014

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