Allen Grossman is the author of Sweet Youth: Poems by a Young Man and an Old Man, Old and New 1953-2001 (New Directions, 2002).
4. White sales The Bus stops uptown next to the John Deere. The step from the paving into the bus is high. How did Irene get on the bus? This is a trouble. "I am not a tall girl." She thought she would take the train on the way back: "But I, even as the dogs, feel a yearning for the infinite. . . .I cannot, I cannot satisfy that hunger! I am the daughter of a man and a woman. I had thought to be more than this. If it had been left to me. I would much rather have been the daughter of a shark." * On the bus Irene talked to a fat blind woman. They talked about January White Sales. The blind woman was going to the Cities to buy sheets. She said "Percale," "Lotus Bloom," "Egyptian Cotton." Then the fat, blind, honey- blond Fate kissed Irene. From the mouth of the Fate a stone passed into the mouth of the girl who then said, "I have begun. I go up from where I was thrown to where I shall betake myself. There Solomon in all his glory shall receive his queen."
From How to Do Things with Tears by Allen Grossman. Copyright © 2000 by Allen Grossman; reprinted by permission of New Directions Publishing Corp. All rights reserved.