c o n v e r g e n c e:
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EDITOR'S CHOICE: cynthia linville's

Patricia Hickerson

Photograph by Kevin Olson
Photograph by Kevin Olson


by Patricia Hickerson

holding close to her breast
mean-patched jowls of the city
lush stink of sidewalk
hard as August cement
rusty as chrome fenders
humidity bears down
imminent as a double-decker bus
pounding Fifth Avenue
in heavy weather

office doorknobs
clang of monitor bells
clacking typewriter keys
wounded women sturdy as desks
bandaged in black
their men at Anzio
howl "Dirty Gerty from Bizerte"
in mud-crusted heat and sweat

sixteen summers and now her war
whirling white her free-swing skirt
the time of high heels
thigh-gartered nylons
holding her sailor's hand
his middy blouse cast to the far Pacific
Leyte and New Caledonia
1944 his bell bottom letters
dark ribbons of hope
twine her heart

smoke and litter
hot winds
swell from the W. 23rd Street subway stop—
the train grinds, squeals
halts in deadly dust


by Patricia Hickerson

pressed tight against your orchid
sienna in your skin
glint of tango in your eye
Argentina on your tongue
gleam of moonlight on your brow
other dancers pushed us closer
barely moving
dizzy in your heated hills
we climbed the peak
shaking underground
my earthquake house
slanting floor
open door


by Patricia Hickerson

it's just now
all this one night long
you might hear us
a bed of crickets
quilting the lawn
with cricket cry of cricket love
we edge the leg of desire
              scrape and sing
              scrape and sing
keening our passion
after hours

it's the same moment
this year last year next year

it's late summer
knees akimbo
we spread our jointed blanket in the dark
weeds and grasses hushed
our silent brides needled to excitement

Patricia Hickerson

Patricia Hickerson

New York City native Patricia Hickerson holds degrees from Barnard College and San Francisco State, and a doctorate from USC. She danced in Warner Bros. movies, later worked as a teacher, copy editor, Penthouse fiction writer, performer with the guerrilla collective FLAC in political action skits. Her poetry has been published in At Grail Castle Hotel and Daughter and Mother; also in Passager, Echoes, Choices, Medusa's Kitchen, Rattlesnake Review, WTF, Poetry Now, Presa, and Yolo Crow.

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