“There was an expiration date
to summer. Understood.
That season, I was experimenting to be
the woman I wanted to be.”

— Sandra Cisneros, “Tea Dance, Provincetown, 1982”

”like this poem,
fucking up the atmosphere.
It’s all going round her hips,
and what her hips enclose;
it’s all lit up by her face,
her ownerless expression.”

— Leonard Cohen, “Seisen is Dancing”


3 years later &
I still daydream of Hydra.

Inspired by Sandra, enamored with Leonard.

So much remains the same
even when the world is ending.

I’m fresh out of quarantine,
but could still go for a grilled cheese
& contemplation.

There’s no longer a Travel section
in my Sunday paper.

At 35,
I sent my Labor Day poem
to my uncle Gene —
I was in a groove
& wanted some wisdom,
or maybe an affirmation.

He died later that month.

”Only a matter of time,”
Sandra knew
back in Provincetown
in 1982.

Think of it —
I didn’t yet

Meanwhile, she was
already “in training to be
a woman without shame.”

Do I have to
spell it out
for you?

I guess I’m still learning
my way.

I keep flipping open
all the sections
of the paper,

See “Labor Day, 35”

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