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The Fall of 1992

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Gainesville, Florida

An empire of moss,
          dead yellow, and carapace:
that was the season
          of gnats, amyl nitrate, and goddamn
rain; of the gator in the fake lake rolling

his silverish eyes;
          of vice; of Erotica,
give it up and let
          me have my way. And the gin-soaked dread
that an acronym was festering inside.

Love was a doorknob
          statement, a breakneck goodbye—
and the walk of shame
          without shame, the hair disheveled, curl
of Kools, and desolate birds like ampersands...

I re-did my face
          in the bar bathroom, above
the urinal trough.
          I liked it rough. From behind the stall,
Lady Pearl slurred the words: Don’t hold out for love.


Source: Poetry (April 2010)

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This poem originally appeared in the April 2010 issue of Poetry magazine

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The Fall of 1992

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