2 June 2004 | Vol. 4, No. 2

What We Did Before

We looked up at an angle, towards the interior of an anonymous room.

Through a window: lilies in a vase, a wedding gown,


the slowest of waltzes on the dressmaker's dummy.

We bailed out the rowboat, trapped in the middle of a sinkhole

of longing: ripple of silver, the trout

beneath the water.

We were caught by the teacher, and as


wrote on the blackboard:

I shall not love him I shall not

love him—one hundred


the chalk made us cough.

About the author:

Robert McDonald likes listening to the same Magnetic Fields album over and over. Over the years his poetry and fiction have appeared in a lot of journals and zines, including the New York Review, the Red Cedar Review, paragraph, Mudfish, Southern Poetry Review, Oyster Boy Review, and New American Scurvy, among others. You can drop him a line at .

For further reading:

Browse the contents of 42opus Vol. 4, No. 2, where "What We Did Before" ran on June 2, 2004. List other work with these same labels: poetry.

42opus is an online magazine of the literary arts.

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