by Leonard Verrastro
I have something to admit.
I’m not actually from your city, for
I was born in Scranton, Pennsylvania.
Ok. Hold on. Give me one chance.
All important public officials
come from Scranton.
Joe Biden lived there
before he ran away.
Hillary Clinton stayed there
when she slept over her grandparents’ house.
Even Barack Obama came
and ordered an egg-white omelet from the Glider Diner.
All right, maybe not the best examples,
but my small city is really great:
Pickups blast country music,
firemen throw picnics,
beer reigns king,
and the best part:
To get to the other side,
you drive right through city proper.
If your big city is windy,
the Lackawanna Valley keeps mine still.
If your big city is an apple,
mine is a fucking mug of applejack.
I will not deny my heritage any longer.
I am a native of Scranton,
the Paris of Northeastern Pennsylvania.
“Tango Dreams in Banff”
by Sue Chenette
“He’s the one I made love with,” Leslie says
as the Argentinian dancer crosses the dining hall.
“He has such a nice bottom.
You understand, it was only in my dream.”
Girl-talk at a big round table,
sky darkening behind the window-framed mountains,
only the wait staff and a few diners now.
We’re punchy from writing all day,
loose and loopy from a long soak
in the Banff hot springs.
“Not a very good male ratio,” Lucy comments.
“I was hoping to have a fling…and I don’t know
about the architects…”
“The musicians have those practice huts,” someone offers.
“He knows how to tango,” Karen, poet
and tango dancer, says, referring again
to the Argentinian. “He’s supposed to
teach me a new step.”
“He does have an exceptionally nice bottom,”
Leslie repeats. We’re giggling,
but mean it too,
and I remember my fine
and honest friend Connie,
years ago, many Scotches into a party,
the two of us evaluating all the men in the room, saying,
“Sometimes, couldn’t you just fuck anybody?”