Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

Diane K. Martin: Love Before Breakfast

1. How to choose a life raft

You don’t think you’ll need one, 

but imagine seas grown choppy,

rain violent.

.

The triggering mechanism must 

be failsafe. You must know

when to use it.

.

The boarding ladder must

be strong, easy to operate.

Vessel unruly. 

.

Handholds are essential. 

High pressure.

High winds.

.

Wide exit is required.

Notice the clouds.

Rain violent.

.

Crayola color ominous,

color of a black eye. 

Rain violet.

.

Don’t know that color?

Don’t need it. Notice

the barometer.

.

Notice the sky.                                                            

 .                                                                                  

2. Snapshots, B&W 

It was all black and white then. Don’t believe me!

A banana was pallid gray. And an orange?

An orange was unrecognizable.

.

The water fountain on the ferry said

whites only. Still, we weren’t to use it. 

.

He would give her something to cry about.

.

If she knew what was good for her,

she would do something with her hair.

.

3. Toll House cookies

.

She came bearing cookies and crying.

She’d made them herself. She

.

apologized. The second batch she saved.

The first went flying. No one had told her

.

to cover her hair. She would remember

next time. He told her she would remember

.

next time. The second batch she saved.

The first went flying. She said my mind

.

is a cat at the bottom of a well

with sides too slick for climbing. 


Poster art of Lombard with the black eye.

.

Evans, Walker Love Before Breakfast (b&w) Atlanta, Georgia, 1936, houses and a billboard for the movie “Love Before Breakfast.” The billboard shows Carole Lombard with a black eye. Library of Congress. Photograph.

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