It's just poetry, it won't bite


11.06.19 Posted in today's words by

Jay Carson’s most recent poem to appear here was “Education of a Prince” (September 2019).

By Jay Carson

around the Rosie, my sister and her friends
made little-boy-me play and suffer.
Later, when I was eleven, I tried to buy
a girl’s dime-store ring for me
because it was so beautiful.

When I was fourteen,
a friend gave me a gold signature ring
to pay off a debt, yet indebted me;
it was the nicest gift I ever got.

I gave wedding rings twice, both
to women who didn’t deserve them
but powerfully encircled me.

The kind-intentioned clerk
would not let eleven-year-old me buy that ring,
helping me not confuse my budding sexuality,
but taking something precious away forever.

The man who gave me the friendship ring
told me years later that he soon forgot me entirely;
I gave the ring to a cabby in exchange for a drunken ride.

The wives gave me their rings back
and went on disappointing others.

My sister and I joke about
being estranged, who is stranger.

The old gospel song asks:
Will the circle be unbroken?
Perhaps only in the bye and bye.

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