Academic journal article Michigan Quarterly Review

Grand Prize

Academic journal article Michigan Quarterly Review

Grand Prize

Article excerpt

I am attracted to men who have no desire

to go to New York City. I am attracted to men

who hang their knives

in the open, who keep stone lathes in their sheds, who know

which back hills grow blueberries and eat

from the jar in the light of the fridge.

At the Library Carnival I'm given a nametag: Ruth Joynton:

GRAND PRIZE. All day kids that smell

like nothing, or wet hotdogs, thumb

blue tickets, pucker their lips and jitter wrists

over my table's jars: remote controlled car, Red Wings jersey,

ten speed,

blond doll that the only black girl I see that day slots

her ticket into. I gotta win, she says.

I am attracted to men who know where to buy

illegal fireworks. Unfortunately for my mother this is rarely a

good Jewish boy.

I am attracted to men who know which night water has rock

beneath, and which has sand for my soft feet.

Men who were once boys eating soap

on a double-dog dare. Fuck it. The whole bar. …

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