lives in Somerville, Massachusetts, where he writes poetry and detective stories.
Among his credits are Asimov’s Science Fiction, Bumbershooot, Measure, Unsplendid, and The Vocabula Review.
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We open on a woman in a shop.
She’s beautiful in the way the watched
Are often beautiful, tottering
Across the store with comic grace,
Shoe boxes balanced in her arms.
No, not shoe boxes . . . hat boxes.
Our film is set in ancient times.
Our colors all are black and white.
And when the bell above the door sounds
And in walks a tailored woolen suit,
She spins but does not drop a single box.
She does not bend to pick them up, nor does
She bump her forehead against the man’s,
The man who wants to buy up all the shops
To build a gray-stoned office block.
They never fight. They never fall in love.
He never meets her brother back from war
And mistakes him for a fiancée.
And they never save the pretty street
That’s lined with busy shops.
Her life goes on. She dates, then picks
One man to marry. She gives up
The failing shop and raises healthy kids.
And when she can she goes to movies.
She is not watched. She watches.