What girls, what girls. Everyone stopped
to admire our pinafores on every street in town.
To the Ben Franklin we’d trot, pennies in hand for sweets.
You liked the chocolates and I,
butterscotch. Old lady already? I’m not even old yet by what they say it is
but a maid is not a maid when mending stops and all decay. Drama, you say,
I shut my door and spin the phonograph myself. I’ll take anything
that goes round, push the needle in the grooves so the vowels of Victrola
stretch long. This way each note lasts and is a low, a call
more than a song. Stop talking about songs, you say, you can’t have everything,
but beneath my veil I’m in flutter-sleeves, face behind a fan. The silk is long,
brushes my knees as I step out. Don’t need a screen, no time for modesty.

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REBECCA KEITH’s poems and other writing have appeared in Best New Poets, The Laurel Review, The Rumpus, BOMBlog, The Awl, Dossier, The Millions, and elsewhere. A native of downtown New York, Rebecca is a founder, curator, and host of Mixer Reading and Music series. She also sings and plays guitar and keyboards in Butchers & Bakers

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