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by Mark Kraushaar

Feature image: Berthe Morisot. Forêt de Compiègne, 1885. The Art Institute of Chicago.

Saxophone, and trombone, trumpet,
trumpet, trumpet. And there’s Roxanne
and Dick, and Betty Mayfield and the Laurie girls.
And there’s George Betts on clarinet.
Of course, it’s so jerky and grainy though,
which is just as it should be,
and here we suddenly actually
are, or, and isn’t that
Malcolm Sproul and Claudia French and isn’t that,
or wouldn’t that be Dick Benck, and there’s
Kit Powell, and Kathy Frey.

And now, somehow, look,
someone in somebody’s yard,
a boy in a foot-deep plastic pool,
skidding sideways and pitching forwards,
euphoric in jaunty fedora, a giddy private eye
in blue shirt and shorts,
waves once and as his mother laughs
she turns, and with her, wistful, and trying,
and troubled by longings, here’s
Jim Jahovic with my best
friend’s strange father Dr. Callahan, and quickly
someone else, and someone and someone and then,
no, yes, that’s, that’s What’s-Her-Name,
judicious and afflicted, nice enough,
yes, and yet, there’s a way she tips forward,
or inwardly anyway, as if picking up the faintest
oracular tappings.
There’s the Roundies and the Levi boy.
And there’s that flirty, sparking Mrs. Archer—
and I want to run it all again.
Oh friends, where were we going
in that shaky dawn?

Mark Kraushaar has work appearing or forthcoming in Ploughshares,
Gettysburg Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, and Hudson Review, among
others. His poems have been in Best American Poetry as well as Poetry Daily. A
full-length collection, Falling Brick Kills Local Man, was published in 2009 by
University of Wisconsin Press, and a new collection, The Uncertainty Principle,
was published by Waywiser Press in November of 2011 as winner of the Anthony
Hecht Prize.

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