Sunday Sep 23

McDermott Poetry Sharon Fagan McDermott is a poet and musician who teaches literature at a private high school in Pittsburgh. She has published three chapbooks, including Alley Scatting (Parallel Press, University of Wisconsin) and Bitter Acoustic, winner of the 2011 Jacar Press chapbook competition, chosen by Betty Adcock. She was a 2001 recipient of a Pittsburgh artist award and a 2002 recipient of a PA Council on the Arts.
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Room in Brooklyn 1932
(after Edward Hopper’s painting)


Eloquent lie—shapely white calls the eye into focus,
a vase almost trite in its trill of freesia. Its virtue? A ruse
for the lover who is now just a sleeve
in the sliver of memory she strives to lose. You can’t call it noir
while she’s riveted to the window and squints at the sun.

It was the lure of his facile façade, this lout whose sotto voice
rivered through her veins, his tousled black hair,
and lone coyote veneer. He was a guise in a suit,
a quitter, a trope. But within her, lust rose
when he covered her cramped living room

in two loping strides. Before she met him, she was unrest
at her window, inert in a hard chair,
her life was a rut of sour green curtains
and shadowy carpet, her tablecloth lost
in its lackluster rust. Back then, women did not quest,

rove, or roam. In her sullen nest, she was elegist
for her own passing life. Love did not enter here
but torque, locomotion. In her borough of lost jobs,
bread lines, and handouts, she boarded that train,
turned her life into a compass, a rig, silvering speed.