(Please note that the pieces in italics should be indented, but the formatting is being fussy.) ODE TO THE WOMEN ON LONG ISLAND after Jennifer Givhan I want to write a poem for the women on Long Island who smoke cigarettes in their SUV's with the windows rolled up before walking into yoga, who hack and curse in downward dog and Debra from the next block over, who has strong opinions about Christmas lights after New Years, who says that her body isn't what it used to be but neither is the economy or the bagels at Rickman's Deli so who really cares, who, during Shavasana, brings up the rabbi's daughter, who got an abortion last spring, and Candy in the corner, who is mousy and kind but makes a show of removing her diamond ring before class because it's just too heavy, calls Debra hateful and the class takes a sharp inhale through the nose then out through the mouth. and after class, after Candy rushes home to check the lasagna, Debra lights up a smoke and calls her best friend Tammy So then the girl calls me hateful hateful, can you believe it? What a word some kind of dictionary bitch over here and so you know what I says? I says you don't know the first thing about hateful, wanna know what's hateful? Menopause. And it doesn't really matter if Debra actually said that to Candy (which she didn't) because Tammy is so caught up that Candy called Debra hateful (which she did) that next week when Tammy runs into Candy while shopping in Rockville Center and Candy asks Tammy how she's doing, Tammy will adjust the purse strap on her shoulder and say, We all have a little coal in our stocking, Candy, and Candy will shuffle away, certain that Tammy knows something about her marriage that she shouldn't and she doesn't, she just loves Debra, who just has a lot of opinions and had Candy given her the chance to finish her sentence, Debra would have talked about the reproductive rights march she went to in the sixties and the counterproductive sex-shaming methods of organized religion. I want to write a poem for the women on Long Island, whose words stretch and curl like bubblegum around the forefinger, who ask if I have a boyfriend and before I answer, say Don't do it. Don't ever do it. You know my friend Linda, she's a lesbian, like a real lesbian and whenever I go over there, she lives on Corona by Merrick, by the laundromat you know where I'm talking about? Whenever I go over there and see her and her wife, what's her name I can never remember the girl's name anyway whenever I go there I says you know what I need? I says, a girlfriend, that's what I need. The women on Long Island smoke weed once a month on the side of the house after their husbands - Richard Larry Gary Mike or Tony - go to bed, they let their teenage daughters throw parties in the basement while they watch the Home Network upstairs and keep a bat by the couch in case anyone gets mickied, even if it's their own son who did the drugging, the women on Long Island won't put it past any many to be guilty, even their kin who, after all, have their husband's hands and blood and last week, when a girl was murdered while jogging in Queens, the women on Long Island were un-startled and furious, they did not call to warn daughters. They called their sons. Took their car keys, their coats, locked the door and sat them at the kitchen table, If you ever, and I mean ever, so much as make a woman feel uncomfortable I will take you to the deli and put your hand in the meat slicer, you think I won't? You hear me? I will make a hero out of you. With mayonnaise and tomatoes and dill and onions I want to write a poem for the women on Long Island who, when I show them the knife I carry in my purse, tell me it's not big enough, who are waitresses and realtors and massage therapists and social workers and housewives and nannies and tell me they wish they would have been artists but Life comes fast. One minute you're taking typing classes for your new secretary job in the World Trade Center and the next it's all almost over, life I mean, but I kicked and screamed my way through it, and so will you, I can tell by the way you walk. One more thing when they call you a bitch, say thank you, say thank you, very much.
Memory – Pieces of a Puzzle
A photo blog This past August my partner Eric and I went on a road trip to visit his Mom. I took some photos along the way to document the trip and posted them on Read more…