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Posted by on Nov 11, 2020 in Poetry | 2 comments

for doris, with love!


Doris Appelbaum went on strike.
She had had enough and wouldn’t cook
another meal. We weren’t there for the food,
not for her daughter Jamie’s friend Loraine
from Brooklyn whose big eyes burned red
when the bong hits piled up and we laughed
too hard to contain ourselves. I loved Doris
Appelbaum’s sausage and pepper tomato sauce,
her pasta with whole blackened cloves of garlic,
her vegetarian chopped liver served with crackers,
|Harvey her husband, and their wine’n’cheese parties
in the seventies on mod furniture with the Silversteins,
while we sat in Remi’s basement room shocking
our noses and stripping the paint off brain cells,
leaving raw wires to twitch in the dawn and lavender light.

We were there for the love not the Rebel Yell
she poured over ice, not for the big tv where we
watched MASH every Sunday or the bowl
of Wheatena that was mine on Monday morning.
She was my mother because my own
took a turn too fast and flipped off the road
while Doris stood steady with black eyes shining
above her smile which like all good smiles
start out wary and smart and mutate into joy.

Doris Appelbaum one day had had enough.
She worked full time for a prosthetic limb practice,
office manager. We took acid and dangled the fake leg
out the second-floor window while the Dead played
St. Stephen. You might want more but I don’t. Doris
hasn’t cooked much the past forty years and she doesn’t
drink Rebel Yell. I don’t know, maybe it was a rehearsal
out of my mind there are many days I want to go on strike
and Doris is leaving her memories behind in Manhattan.


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