I’m looking for clothes to put my body in. At the family gathering, my sisters-in-law wear sundresses & strappy sandals, which are lovely, & it’s sunny out, but the Kenneth Cole men’s shirt I got on sale seems out of place, like the way I need to wear a lot of metal that can double as weapons if needed & ever since I cut off all my hair years ago to avoid being mistaken for a woman who wants a man in Dockers, I search websites for men’s shoes & shirts to fit, stores for men with elegant small feet, who I imagine to be my cosmic brothers, then one sister-in-law talks about the new baby, the new baby, so I switch to the men’s talk about the new Camaro, the new Camaro, & the NFL’s jacked-up penalties on hitting, but always swing back to the women, who have a watery wayabout them I love, who are talking about the zesty seasoning for the bean salad, which is, in fact, delicious. 

The Switching/Yard, University of Pittsburgh Press


photoJan Beatty is the author of four poetry collections published by the University of Pittsburgh Press. The Switching/Yard, Red Sugar, Boneshaker, and Mad River, winner of the 1994 Agnes Lynch Starrett Prize. She cohosts and produces Prosody, a public radio show on NPR affiliate WESA-FM featuring the work of national writers. Beatty worked as a welfare caseworker, an abortion counselor, in maximum security prisons, and as a waitress for fifteen years. She directs the creative writing program at Carlow University, where she runs the Madwomen in the Attic Writing Workshops and teaches in the MFA program.

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