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                                                            The Literary Review
                                                                      Issue 8

Page 27

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THE MAN ON THE BUS

The man on the bus looked guilty,
his eyes kept darting from here to there
Jew or Arab, how could I know the difference?
He wore a jacket in the summer
my inner alarm bell went off
I sat tighter in the seat,
if I have to go I have to go –
he got off at the next stop.

  Lois Michal Unger __

______________________

SOMETHING ATTRACTIVE ABOUT DIRTY

Sometimes there’s something attractive about dirty. I took off my sleeveless undershirt, folded it and put it away, not in the hamper. It wasn’t dirty really, just old and grey like when you’ve washed white too many times. It felt sexy. Made me think of the time I was on a bus from Missouri to Texas. It was a two-day trip. I couldn’t sleep and stayed up reading Emile Zola’s ‘Nana’. There’s a scene when Nana and her friend Satin are sitting on a bed, talking. Nana is the successful rich courtesan and Satin is a street waif. She’s wearing a dirty slip. I was 18 and I’ve always remembered that.

  Lois Michal Unger __


LOVE CAN BE HAPPY

Love can be happy
Mimi can escape from the garret
Satin doesn’t have to wear a dirty slip
Your lover can grow old and you don’t even notice
and someone will be there on that day that will befall you

  Lois Michal Unger __

__________________

DON’T LET ANYONE GIVE YOU SPANISH FLY

‘Don’t let anyone give you Spanish Fly’
my aunt Flossie said
as we marched off to the nightclub
fishnet hose, a taffeta costume in hand

Earlier we’d sat in an agent’s office
‘Do you mix?’ he asked,
Never having heard the expression
I said ‘yes’

So, we danced in a nightclub
I had just quit college
in the bottom of my junior year

But y’know, I remember nothing that I learned there
except that Felice and I giggled in the Economics class
and I once could read Lamartine in French;
but half a century later
I still remember the opening chords of ‘The Johnson Rag’.

  Lois Michal Unger __










THE HAIRDRESSER’S CRY IN THE TIME OF THE CORONAVIRUS

Where are all the women now
the ones who I told were beautiful
kissed them and hugged them
and got them a cup of coffee
I can’t do without you they’d say
where are they now
gone away
to live every day
without me

March 2020

  Lois Michal Unger __



© Luigi Cazzaniga: cartoon 1
            © Luigi Cazzaniga: cartoon 1