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Victor Lodato
BJP Home

The Crossing

Young boys stun their mothers
with Venus' locks
and the enlightened skirts of Graces.

The girl at the corner coffee shop,
bristly as a fighter pilot,
decked in the leather of lost wars.

When she asks for your order,
the voice disarms you:
sweet wine from a bruisey bottle.

The city is ripe with a new crop:
children steeped
in the body's broken mystery.

The boy next door
rings his eyes in black.
His slitted ears, heavy with silver.

He drifts by solemnly
a goddess. The father mocks:
Cleopatra's home.

When his bedroom door slams,
the whole house shuts like a fist.
The mother smokes on the porch.

In her drab blue dress, she drags
on the cigarette as if for meaning.
Then crushes it under her foot.

Next morning, over the lip-
sticked ends of his mother's
cigarettes, the boy heads for school.

Sometimes, a girl with no hair
marches with him.
They are a city to themselves.


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