Some curses

On summer barbecue nights, family nights

when the grandfather raised his voice

called damnation, was he saying damn nation?


That was something I wondered while chasing

fireflies on steamy green lawns. We were all

angry about politics, a crooked President


reckless, a good man who would lose, they said so.

So even while trapping glowworms in jars,

being the kid who dropped the jar, sliced her foot,


I tasted it: hating one politician, loving another

was my way, gleaming certainty would be

my life. But what was he saying.



Alexis Quinlan is a poet, travel writer and teacher, lately at Fordham University in The Bronx. For over a decade, her work has appeared in The Paris Review, Drunken Boat and others. More recent poems are in Rhino, Tinderbox, Juked and Madison Review. 


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