In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

  • Woman between You and the Door
  • John Bensko (bio)

Woman between You and the Door

The last time you saw her, the police were escorting her to their car. A nice

word escort, and she shouted several others in a screaming growl

that let you know she didn’t care how quaint it was. She tossed her

head so her orange cap flew and she tried to spit on them, on you.

Now, she has the cap again, though more dirty, and you wonder

if they retrieved it for her, or if later she came from jail and found it, with the tire

and shoe marks that give it what some might [End Page 79]

call character and others a sign of worse to fear.

You still have time to change your plans, to run other errands,

to pretend you don’t see her, don’t understand, don’t care

about what you know will happen when you reach her. You’ve forgotten

some part of why you were headed her way.

When you smile at her, turning back, it’s almost a true smile, not the sick

knowing that what went wrong in her has reached you. It grins there

in the wet teeth you bare against the wind.

John Bensko

John Bensko is the author of three books of poetry, The Iron City (Illinois U P), The Waterman’s Children (U of Massachussetts P), and Green Soldiers (Yale U P), as well as a story collection, Sea Dogs (Graywolf). He teaches in the mfa program at the University of Memphis.



Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. 79-80
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.