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Apr 2018
(NaPoWriMo Challenge: April 14, 2018)

Historian of our 80s, you knew all the folktales
about rock bands and anecdotes of art parties,
DJ booths and offbeat pubs along the trendy
St. Louis blocks. The midwestern bands in the basements
of Ciceros, the more notorious at Mississippi Nights,
where we walked the cobblestone streets
in our black boots and short, spandex skirts.

All the times I tried to go with you and blend into it,
belong to it like a thrilling glitter. But the gloss
was like a glaze that would stick. Legitimacy
remote and dim in the bellies of windowless places.

Everyone had visions of moving to London
or even Chicago; and I felt wide-eyed at the dream,
how impossible it sounded. How angular and edgy
and abrasive and brave. I felt tedious and leaden
and lackluster at the likelihood of running away,
such a thing more riveting people did.

Toward the end of my midwestern life
I followed you deep into the city streets
to Bernards where grunge bands screamed
at their boredoms and broke jaws outside
the threshold. The hazy bathrooms,
the awkward hallways, the alleyways of misfit:
I remember the places
I could only be adjacent to,
at the border of,

on the melancholy curb outside,

in the halo
                  of all the notes.
These poems for NaPoWriMo were inspired by a poem I did years ago for my friend Michelle after hearing she passed away, 30 poems for inspiring women connected to me. The title now says "33 Women" because the poem to Michelle poem had already been written as well as two prologues I posted March 31.

See LeAnne here!
Mary McCray
Written by
Mary McCray
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