National Poetry Month Day 26: “Man as Town II” by Mary Hood ’11

Man as Town II


You are the bank of the river,

wearing a necklace of beer cans,

a shawl of ruined hair,

and a skirt of small rocks

sunken in the cheek of the earth.

The boys will not take their girlfriends here.

I peel you back.

You are the lean-to

post-office—solemn, papery,

no different than the library

after dark,

in which the shelves arch their dusty backs,

full of cold.

Everything you say

has been written and said

by another.

I try to tell you what the other town

is dreaming, but your ears

are too drunk to hear,

for you are also the tavern

on the corner,

where I first saw you, alone,

turning in on yourself,

and you are the very corner itself,

rough as cement,

and the man,

as well, leaning over

the chain link fence, kissing me,

such beery lips.



Mary Hood graduated from Bucknell University in 2011, and is currently pursuing her masters in English at the University of Oregon.


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