is an online magazine of the literary arts.

25 April 2005 | Vol. 5, No. 1

Workers in Love


I had three husbands, two of them ghosts.

The last hocked Orange Crush at a crash

in Clear Lake. Maria Elena Holly sported

black bobby sox and wept over a rib bone

interred at the Surf Ballroom. There remains

Ritchie Valens. Backcomb the widow's veil,

a scrim of downbeats and some Aqua Net.

Flat, everything flat. The lake with white

foam, the white wicker honeymoon suite,

the red lipstick worn into pink. We strolled

on the imported beach, our shoes a byproduct

of wreck. Woody might call love flotsam.

I call it next. I've hummed about falling—

rock sentimentalities, lullabies.


Love did not exist before we moved

into the observatory. Stars are remote

as bolted letters, volcanoes. Sometimes

Woody eyes me over his unhappy salad

and murmurs of the statistical probability.

We are like criminals searching for paperclips.

Who could know that Cosmos 1953 would pass

under Cassiopeia in a memorable configuration?

How else might one catch a sustained glint?

The night was clear, my eyes maladapted.

I had never seen Mir so bright. Written

like parting, coupling becomes a pyrrhic victory.

Note rock songs. Note our heavenly hosts.