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Prairie Schooner 80.2 (2006) 157-158

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Nocturne, and: After Your Divorce


Black sky, not a star
not the outline of where the moon was
no slipping clouds or angel wings.

It's not the gin
that made the sky go dark,
not the joint we rolled and sucked.

In the doorway across the alley, two men
waiting for a ride, or for a girl
like me. A girl who will do anything.

I want to say
hey! I'm not that kind of girl
but if I speak, they won't believe me.

What kind of girl stands like this,
anyway: naked in a window
trying to see stars? [End Page 157]

After Your Divorce

I asked you to read my poems
I wrote table and forced you out
into the woods to choose a tree,
maple, oak, or maybe an exotic teak.
You had to decide the shape too,
round or rectangular or oval. I wrote
a cobalt bowl filled with orange day lilies
and a white coffee mug, rim smudged
with Dior's Infra Rose. I might have
written an apple on an ivory table runner
from Brazil, but I wrote a half-eaten
nectarine set on a white paper towel the way
she did to keep from messing up a plate
for just one item. I knew about your divorce
and yet I wrote table, leaving so much
for you to do. I should have written door.
Carol W. Bachofner is the editor of Pulse, an online literary journal. Her poems have appeared in the Cream City Review, the Comstock Review, Prairie Schooner, and elsewhere.



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pp. 157-158
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