Monthly Archives: June 2013


The Boast

by Rita Dove

At the dinner table, before the

baked eggplant, you tell the story

of your friend,

Ira, how he kept a three-foot

piranha in his basement.

“It was this long,” you say,

extending your arms,

“And it was striped, with silver

scales and blue shadows.”

The man with purple eyes lifts

his eyebrows; you laugh at his

joke about the lady in the

sausage suit, your toes find his

under the table, and he is yours.

Evening expires in a yawn of stars.

But on the walk home, when he

pulls you into the hedges, and the

black tongues of leaves flutter,

and those boogey-man eyes glitter,

There won’t be time for coming

back with lies, with lies.

The Complaint

by Helen (Hanyu) Liu

At the classroom desks, before the

teacher comes, you exaggerate

your bland day,

tired, and how you took three tests

with no sleep and no caffeine.

“It was horrible,” you say,

rolling your blunt eyes

“And the classrooms, I swear are

slowing down the time.”

The boy with the brown eyes pats

your shoulder; you smile at his

tale of how early he slept in

the morning, your eyes meet his

when you glance at him, and gleam fills you

Then day ends with faster ticking of clocks.

But after bell rings, when he

Walks you to your locker, and the

Delicate talks ease you,

And scrubs you with new energy,

There won’t be need for caffeine

And sleeping, sleeping.