Rapunzel at Dealey Plaza
Did you ever hear a nuance coming back to haunt you? Your mother with the fire
hydrant lips YOU KNOW THE ONE who plays the maiden in the book depository window.
You mean I have two mothers, one cooking for a little boy named Scott whose bread
crumbs she lays carefully along the banks of the Skuykill, which, come midnight, turn
into snow leopards at 7,540 feet while the other . . . the other sharpens her auction
voice by listening to NPR: a story about the connection between canary activity and the
October murder rate in Fishtown. She clinks hollow-point rounds together like garlic
cloves to soften our point of view.
Somewhere, a piano version of Yellow Submarine forms pigeon trails into a perfect V,
but they have yet to right themselves. In her personal ad she writes: Enjoys holding
a javelin in one hand and stirring a pot of clam sauce with a wooden ladle in the other.
She forgets to mention her height, weight, and eye color that from the ground appear
spring white and barn red. She leaves out the smallest translucent mechanisms of
getaway: the relevant Farenheit, how many feet to the window sill, the number of
children who could be witnesses.
Poor little Scott, lost without his yellow raincoat, sitting under elm leaves as large as his
head. A blindfolded moon. A radio with a dead battery.
WHY IS IT ALWAYS YELLOW, MY TONGUE, THE SKY, YOUR BRAID ON MY LAP?
Because, she says, you are the narrator, the boy grown up after his long, deliberate
death. When I wake the leopards they will need some identifying marker, as will the
station wagon when it turns the corner too slowly, the pigeons panicking in black-and-
Author Discusses Poems