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Sally Bliumis-Dunn


The white and black squares
promise order
in the morning mess
of mulling over

the latest political morass,
what's on sale at Kohl's,
the book review.

Each letter, shared,
which lifts away
some sheen of loneliness I
can't quite explain.

This week, "arsenic" and "forsythia"
are joined by their i's
like long-estranged cousins.

And when they ask
for the French equivalent of sky,
I'm back on a wooden chair

in Madame Baumlin's
eighth- grade class, passing
a note to David, having

no idea, as my hand grazes his,
that he will drown sailing
that next summer.

I like doing the crossword
with my husband —
Source of support,
three letters.

I'm the one who guesses it,
glad he doesn't think
of " bra" in this way.

The puzzle rests
on the counter all week.

I like coming back,
looking at the same clue
I found insolvable
the day before, my mind

often a mystery to me,
turning corners when I sleep
or am upstairs folding clothes.

They get added to pounds.
Yesterday I thought
it had to do with money or meat;

now I can see the chain-link fence
at the local animal shelter.
Of course. "Strays".

From Second Skin (Wind Publications, forthcoming in November 2010)
Used with the author's permission.



Sally Bliumis-Dunn teaches, is Associate Editor-at-Large and features writer for PLUME, and teaches a Personal Essay course at the 92nd Street Y in New York City. Her poems have been published in a long list of distinguished journals and, in 2002, she was a finalist for the Nimrod/Hardman Pablo Neruda Prize. Sally is the author of four books; learn more about her here.





Post New Comment:
Absolutely delightful, and so clever! I'm sharing this not only with poets, but with crossword devotees! Sally :Buckner
Posted 08/27/2010 02:55 PM

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