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Blind Girl's Litany

Mark Yakich

Based on a girl I knew in elementary and high school. Her name was Dori and she
died 12 years ago. She was 21. By contrast, Huck Finn was never alive but he will
live forever. What memory is to matter, matters least. I haven't thought about Dori
in three years. I record each time I do. "What the fuck do you care?" she used to say,
"that I got Hodgkins." She said it like a punch line, and she never used the word disease.
Or carcinogen. Or Rasputin. For a long time kids thought she meant an imaginary friend
named Hotchkiss. But who still has an imaginary friend in high school? Before I wrote
this poem, I talked to Dori. I tried to reassure her about being dead, that despite her
protests, it's not so awful. See, I said, I haven't talked to my mother in 73 days, but it's
not worth writing down.

Mark Yakich

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