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Sean Barry

Second Letter to Jenny

The Chinese kids sat beside me,

flipping back and forth

from English to Mandarin

and all I could think was,

"How lovely."


How beautiful was that young girl,

with her head of black silk,

her acne and her crooked nose,

how gorgeous that gangly youth

drawn into his shirt and tie

with all the crinkled lifeless grace

of a sopresata.


How beautiful, that they talked of lunchrooms

and cellphones and Lord knows what

in that blasting mangled language,

How perfect that I was on the wrong train,

had boarded the wrong letter,

V not F,


and was headed to some far part of the City,

How fine that I was about to lose my job,

that I wore your scent on my unwashed skin,

that I couldn’t sleep or eat or think straight,

that I found myself tangled like a porpoise in a sieve net,

flashing my perfect smile and squeaking gleefully

at the gasping mass of fish about me

who knew not the first thing

about love.

Sean Barry is a writer living in Brooklyn.


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