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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & Owner
Ray Rasmussen, General Editor

Volume 12, Number 3, September 2018
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Carol Raisfeld
Atlantic Beach, New York, USA


A Hollow Place

Dead drunk by nine, she picked up and stayed wherever there was the promise of booze. Stayed with men whose names were outside her hazy thoughts. She moved between one nightspot and another, on to some remote hotel, leaving in secret before dawn, pocketing a business card.

still young
she quickly learned
the language . . .
older men who were kind
paid for the taxi home

On summer nights, sex under the tents of holly trees—each parting hug more a token of civility, no tinge of love.

All she ever wanted was to be loved, spending days and nights looking into the eyes of needy men. Bartenders knew her and listened with sympathy as they poured her drinks. Some took her home for dinner, while others let her sleep in the back room.

she stares
in a mirror behind the bar
not recognizing
the mouth, the eyes,
the sunken face smiling back

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