Volume III, Issue III Autumn 2004


I sold my left tit for a box of Juju Bees in 1943, then fled the movie theatre when things went suddenly south.

In a garage on Garrison Street I watched fascinated as the handyman manufactured "love juice" just for me; then denied my witness to mother, alerted by the neighbors.

Later I denied that Donny Weldon pulled down my panties in the milk wagon on the playground. "Did he touch you down there?" mother asked. Honestly, I don't remember, and now, at 70, what does it matter? All I know is that by the grace of God my gullibility and curiosity led to nothing worse than queasy feelings. I have always trusted too much.

My friend Tom tries to fix me up with a lovely looking middle-aged addict in recovery, another bird with a broken wing. I've no bandages left and these days there's room in the nest only for this mamma bird that has no eggs left to lay, no fish left to fry, and no patience for penitents bearing gifts and pulsating with paranoia and neurotic needs. They feast but are never filled. My table is bare; my spigot, dry.

I'm no one's tit these days. Some days it takes every bit of juice I can muster just to keep myself running. The oil still needs changing. The knee still needs replacing. My heart so frequently lies in the dust, trampled and throbbing with needs of its own. If I can, I'll stoop to retrieve it once more, blow the detritus from its surface, tweeze the shards of glass from the most recent explosion, tuck it into my pocket, and trudge towards the light that seems to lie just beyond the next intersection.

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