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Virginia Bell



WHAT HAPPENED THERE

What happened there, where the air is hot,
Where every green has a different name,
Between you and the who surely taller than not?

Who touched you there? Touched you where?
Did you sleep while living? Dream of dying?
What happened there, where the air is hot?
 
Most days you churned butter outside in the sun
While your mother sat fanning in a bamboo chair
Between you and the who surely taller than not.

Until the day the alarm rang out: Drop
Everything! Run! Hide! The Japanese
Invaded there, there where the air is hot.

In every green you hid the deepest,
Through every green, you ran the fastest--
Away from or closer to--I do not know, only
    
That the butter fell back into the cream,
And the cream seeped into the wood,
And the wood became rancid and rot
Between you and the who surely taller than not
What happened there, where the air was hot?


FIRST KISS       

after Rita Dove

The night was purple
We heard the sound of golden dogs
Barking faintly in back yards
                                        
Our arms were a circle
Wild mint that grew in the park
Rubbed its scent on our ankles

Just afterwards I cried
For the Sunday-school shame
Of it (the whole world looking at me)

But also for the sticky
Tongue honey, for wanting more,
For the apricot taste of earlobe





Virginia Bell

Virginia Bell's poem "No Pope" appeared in the Spring 2006 Wartime issue of Beltway Poetry Quarterly.  On March 6, 2007, she was a featured reader in the Takoma DC library Poetry Series. She has a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature and frequently teaches as an adjunct professor with the English Department at Georgetown University. She  has published scholarly articles on such writers as Eduardo Galeano and Leslie Marmon Silko.  She also is a stay-at-home parent of two young children.  She lives in Takoma Park.





                                    

 

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Last Updated: Sep 16th, 2007 - 08:34:32

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