To Jenny, Who Sold Me Her Lit. Book
John Davis. Jr.

I come across your name
from time to time, behind
“The Minister’s Black Veil,”
or penned upon Bartleby
the Scrivener’s measured
margins along with your fast-pitch
jersey number 9 inked in pink.
At Young Goodman Brown’s Faith,
you’ve exclaimed “GO MOCS!!!”
but you never dot “i”
with a heart or scribe flowery
thoughts beside Browning or Auden.

Upon occasion, though,
you’ll trade obscenities
in the Keys with Hemingway,
scrawl snakes with girly curves
near Dickinson’s Narrow Fellow.

Today, the canon isn’t
quite so hard like it was
on an unmarried frat boy
with testosterone A.D.D.
I don’t glaze over in wonder
about the forbidden castle
of your dorm room’s inner sanctum,
nor do Holmes and I use clues
such as game days to conclude if
your hair is worn straight or pulled back.

Yet I still have to half-smile
as I find your reminders
of that overconfident point
in my life, best distracted
by imagery from the hand
of a girl softball player:
Once accidental, colorful
graffiti decorating
the wall of my college-aged heart.

Return to Archive