10.3 (Spring 2006)
Top Girl
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Mike YoungListen


Because It Was Drizzling

Because it was drizzling
while I waited for a bald man
to finish with the ATM,
I sang The Boxer into my fist—

My winter clothes and wishing
I was gone, going home.

At the end, his back to me
and his shoulders sopping,
the bald man said

You've got a great voice
for that song, it's a hard song
and well—it's a great song
isn't it?

Sure, I said,
shy, uncertain, a boy.
Then, as hard as I could,
Thank you. Thanks.

Because it was still drizzling
after he left, as I checked
my face for pimples
in the ATM safety mirror
wired to the alarm.


Why Is Nothing On Our Stove?

You like the way I
burst in? I thought
you might. I did it
for you. If I'm hardy
har har and you're a
squelched hum, what will
they say about our kids?

Shall we have them
in motels, stapling
our gods to vacant
signs? Shall I buy
the laundry soap and
liquor, while you
beg your mother (red
and plump) for a loan?

You like the way I
taste your fingers
in ten easy slurps?
What's with the tissues?
What's with the smell
of fish from the next
apartment and why is
nothing on the stove
in our tiny kitchen?


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