I remember running into a tenement building,
up to the second floor, then looking out a hall window
where my friends were doing the duck walk
to prove they weren’t drunk. Jeff had thrown
a book at a storefront window, setting off the alarm.
We were obnoxious in that way college students can be
and I was woozy from the saké which I gulped
not knowing it was supposed to be sipped.
I was one of the boys that night, not quite a girlfriend,
and quack quack quack we giggled later. The policemen
shook their heads—no ticket/no brutality/no arrest.
Later, the taxi driver said we’re here now, nudging
my shoulder awake. I’d passed out on his back seat.
When he opened my door, I gave him all money I had
so happy I hadn’t been raped. And because he was
a nice human being or because he felt good about the tip,
he caught me when I tripped and made sure
I got to my door safely. Once inside, I blinked
the outdoor light as a final goodbye and thank you
again. Sam, earlier in the night, had said, “Watch out”
and grabbed me back to the curb, a bus
speeding past, the driver giving me the finger.



Saturday, 2 pm

Ladies with face lines,
your first needle is on us!

Man with the biggest,
hairiest stomach flab wins!


Denise Duhamel

DENISE DUHAMEL’s most recent book of poetry is Scald (Pittsburgh, 2017).Blowout (Pittsburgh, 2013) was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Her other titles include Ka-Ching! (Pittsburgh, 2009); Two and Two (Pittsburgh, 2005); Queen for a Day: Selected and New Poems (Pittsburgh, 2001); The Star-Spangled Banner (Southern Illinois University Press, 1999); and Kinky (Orhisis, 1997).She is a professor at Florida International University in Miami.

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