1926: Cousin Ruby and her Chum, Ursula
The Throgsnecker Gang crowned Ruby and Ursula Queens of the World in the barroom portion of Diddley’s Clams. The girls, partaking as they had of numerous boilermakers, decided they were too good for the boys and yelled Adios! To their immense surprise, Lugnut, he being the most ossified amongst all those guys, accosted them in the parking section and tossed the ladies (both of whom had turned him down too many times already) into the back of his Ford. Due time passed and so forth and Lugnut dumped the babes on the Jersey side of the George Washington and, because he’d by this time somewhat sobered up, left them with two bits each. Anyways, that’s the story these two were yammering about when I gave them a ride and thence bumped up against this Chevy here, Officer. Who can drive with a couple a dames squalling like that? Yeah, maybe. Okay, so's I was there myself at the time, but all I done was tail Lugnut when he took off from Diddley's. Concerned for their welfare, I was. No, sir. I have not touched a drop since leaving the clam joint.

*

1957: Kathleen Eulalie, Widow
My lipline’s retreated since Tuesday. I’ll toss those Hazel Bishop reds, (lipstick on shriveled lips rattles men, scares little children) skip Woolworth’s cosmetics counter, save backaching, ankleswelling pondering of powders, rouges, Max Factors or Revlons; sally forth with my own eyebrows and naked eyelids; spend my mad money on good causes, books of poetry, a decent handbag; carry on with less flounce, bounce, and better girdles; forgo fuschia; choose smaller hats with conservative feathers. (My Harry said I had panache when it came to hats.) If I’ve gotten through the Depression, two goddamned wars, the death of a child and Harry’s stomach cancer, I can damn sure get the hang of being old. I’ll pray to St. Jude. And I’ll go to confession.

*

1969: Reverence
Sweet Mother of Jesus look and learn, Macky, my boy. Learn of the woman's high heels, low neck, short skirt, tight belted waist for the love of Saints Peter and Paul. Hips and tits, and alone on the low-down street. Shilling for the Devil, the Snake in the Grass, the Tempter that can curse every freedom lovin' man from Dublin to Istanbul. Take your lager with you, Macky, and we'll see where she wanders. See the blessed long legs of her striding through the night. Smell the scent of her swinging holy hair.


Nonnie Augustine’s first collection of poems, "One Day Tells its Tale to Another" was chosen by Kirkus Review as one of the "Best of Indie 2013." She won the 16th Glass Woman prize in 2014 for her prose poem “All is Ready.” She graduated from Juilliard with a B.F.A. in dance.


:: more from this issue ::

Three Poems

Francine Cunningham



Three Poems

Mahan Ellison



Bones and playing pretend

Amogha Sridhar


City Folk

Nonnie Augustine



Four Poems

Fisayo Adeyeye



Two Poems

Sunayana Bhargava



Desk Job

Makai Andrews


Two Poems

Wilderness Sarchild