Vox Populi

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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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