Amrit Patel CC
I came from the City.
Burgundy loafers my first day.
Knew ain’t & I reckon from
the Beverly Hillbillies.
Never saw a swimming hole,
only the blue country club pool
where a freckled girl inquired
Catholic or Protestant?
I didn’t know. Before Leesburg
I sputtered, cried, swallowed
chlorine, stayed in the shallow end.
Then Dad got saved & quit his job.
Mom went to work. I learned
the middle is a pond’s deep end
and you can’t see the bottom,
which is just as well. I smoked
sinsemilla at the tracks where hobos
caught slow moving freights
to Leesburgs further south.
What do I do with my body while
she crosses herself, lights holy oil,
kisses icons in the small,
unfinished church she’s led me to
with gestures, undulating speech?
Watch her moves attentively?
Lower my gaze, look away?
We walk downhill past mottled sheep,
a dog she calls a Greek Shepherd.
We’re beyond history. We have no
slot to put each other in. TV is kako,
she says. Symphono, Kyria, I agree.
This is my house. Come for coffee.
Eucharisto. Does she mean now?
Tasting the eucharist in thanks,
I stand here, mute, thirsty.
Hilary Sideris’s poems have appeared in The American Journal of Poetry, Beltway Poetry Quarterly, OneArt, Poetry Daily, Right Hand Pointing, Salamander, Sixth Finch, and Verse Daily. She is the author of Un Amore Veloce (Kelsay Books 2019), The Silent B (Dos Madres Press 2019), and Animals in English, poems after Temple Grandin (Dos Madres Press 2020). Liberty Laundry, her latest collection from Dos Madres, was recommended by Small Press Distribution. Sideris lives in Brooklyn and works as a professional developer for the CUNY Start Program at The City University of New York.
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