On Chapin Street

We sat bare assed and wetting our hunger condensing. In a cloud of Jack Daniels you dealt a final round. Drawing each card slowly from the deck, fingers placed like a gentle lover between the folds of the cut. Lifting each card into the growing fan of your hand, you laughed then knocked the deck roughly with your knucklebone for my turn. Snapped out my five little fishes with their milk bellies up. The short parade of twos, the comical pair of Jack and Queen, a three. You offered your spades from their black hole, and I understood nothing in the soft spread of the numbers would keep me from my knees   So, I went down with you behind, two dogs burying the same bone. Thinking I might love you, thinking I might want to die this way or live this way always—smelling the stink of a day burning out on Chapin Street.


Photo Credit: kevin dooley Flickr via Compfight cc

Nan Byrne

Nan Byrne is a feminist poet and television writer. The author of two books, her poems have appeared in a variety of feminist journals including Phoebe: A Feminist Quarterly, Canadian Woman Studies, Earth’s Daughters, Critical Matrix: Princeton Journal of Women, Gender, and Culture, Poemmemoirstory, So To Speak, and elsewhere. She is the recipient of grants from the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and the Vermont Studio Center, and is currently at work on a documentary about Margaret Fuller, an early feminist and the first woman journalist.


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