Only Young Women Were Adjudged


             

Shirley lost her marble in the dark snow where

the dirt-encrusted alley met the old man’s need


aunt or mother from the window hanged the sheets

aunt or mother in the bathroom freed that curl


meet her in the alley where the wind blows bleach

free her from the woman’s walls in brick or block


hanging’s not for sheets—that’s a common misconception

put your money on the shadow—he’ll be back


shadows play along the flat of brick or block

like butterflies           imagining         a garden

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