Eggleston Dance #1: A Memphis Afternoon 


In a normal summer 
I might find you in Normal Station  
where it’s easy  
to get stuck behind  
two-mile long freight trains 
light poles grown larger than trees 
and shadows that sweat in the baking day
In a normal summer 
you might find me in Normal Station                                                                                                          wandering into parking lots 
looking for shelving or car parts 
hoping no one notices how we glimpse                                                                                                            when we play no-glove catch   
You won’t stop whispering 
we’re on Chickasaw land 
and I believe                                                                 
In a normal summer 
we’d return from a rock beach 
not worrying about dragging in sand 
but even then we’d carry pebbles  
that we’ll find in the floorboards                                                                            
                          in the couch cushions.                                                                                                                                                      in pockets                                                                                                                                                                          in skin

Some Jews



Some Jews
are outrageous
Other Jews
are inert

Some Jews
              ham
              loudly
Other Jews
              sigh
              heavily
                          into books
Sometimes they are the same

Many Jews are famous
Most Jews are funny
All Jews perform

There are skinny Jews
with sick eyes like Kafka
or rage like Steven Jesse Bernstein
(though unorthodox to quite that extent)

There can also be
fat Jews
with psoriasis
like Al Goldstein
            editor of Screw
            who says he slept
             with over 7000 women

And what about those kindly Jews
in the dying years
of young womanhood
                 with fuzzy hair and soft eyes
                 who teach Tot Shabbat classes
                 in synagogue basements on
                 Saturday mornings

Some Jews are Black
there are Jews in Argentina
Other Jews are Israeli
there are Jews in Quebec
A few are left in Poland
            and they’re a handful in Hungary

Jews may like steam baths
and American Jews
                         some who flock south
may like baseball
but maybe not so much being Jewish

Perhaps it’s just tradition to forget
when progress
becomes manifest
             when material
becomes more efficient than economy
             when matter
becomes bone

There are shivers of Jews
            inside shivers of Jews

Yet what debts us altogether
is the payout from our trust,
that is given in blood.

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