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A Sense of Fall Every summer day was the last I thought, even before my parents were gone, when cicadas sewed in a frenzy on tiny machines, clicking and droning as if stitching one last tapestry in the street oaks and so empty themselves to perfection, their varnished bodies fallen here and there on sidewalks, their wings a delicate filigree of veins made from the air of the lost. --
High School English Tony and I both had Miss Stucky. She was going on about Keats one day, how A thing of beauty is a joy forever— then saw the empty desk, remembered, and sent me to the Boy’s Room to see why Tony was taking so long. He was standing next to a urinal and told me to watch, then tilted his head back, plugged one nostril, and honked out a snot rocket that stuck to the white wall. Every time we laughed the yellow/green got longer. My first art mural, said Tony. And we laughed again before returning to Miss Stucky—that moment not even close to a thing of beauty, but lasting anyway for all these years.
Peter Makuck is the author of numerous collections of poetry, including six from BOA Editions: Mandatory Evacuation (2016), Long Lens: New & Selected Poems (2010), Off Season in the Promised Land (2005), Against Distance (1997), The Sunken Lightship (1990), and Where We Live (1982). Makuck is also the founder of Tar River Poetry, where he served as editor for nearly thirty years.
Copyright 2020 Peter Makuck