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Notes

Once in the 40?s
by William Stafford

We were alone one night on a long
road in Montana. This was in winter, a big
night, far to the stars. We had hitched,
my wife and I, and left our ride at
a crossing to go on. Tired and cold?but
brave?we trudged along. This, we said,
was our life, watched over, allowed to go
where we wanted. We said we?d come back some time
when we got rich. We?d leave the others and find
a night like this, whatever we had to give,
and no matter how far, to be so happy again.
Power Outage in a Hotel Lobby
by Bud Cipoletti

The lobby was a vacuum
closed and opened by electric
doors like sliding glass valves.

Thunderstorms rocked the humid
sky outside, the lightning sliced
by blinds over
dirty windows.

A receptionist fills the cold silence
repeating uniformed greetings,
her gold nametag sparks as she moves.

The air-conditioning drones through
gridlocked
crates in the sun colored walls?
boxing the breeze into quilts.

The collage from a muted television
goes dark?
and the staff scurries like rain.

Lights flicker, static oval globes
blink while they pulse over the carpet below,
a fiber garden from Versailles.

Systems down, the filtered flow ceased,
circulation halted,
the receptionist tends to candles tucked
away in cheap cabinets like wax sheep,

the storm outside sees her light their wicks
through my reflection.
Luna Moth
by Jeff Friedman

I thought it was a bat, looking for trouble,
but it was only a luna moth clutching the screen.
When it settled on my pillow, closing its wings,

I left the room and waited for it to fly out
but it remained in the cavity of my pillow
until I slipped a piece of cardboard

under the speckled body.
Then in anger it flew wildly through the rooms of our house,
a blessing gone awry, and before I could swat it

it vanished into some crack or
hidden place. Then I lay down again
and waited for you to open your eyes

but you gripped the sheets and held fast to sleep,
and the luna moth scudded through our bedroom, reading
my horoscope on the dust of the blinds.