Outsider by Risa Denenberg (Where I Live Poetry & Photography Series)

Silver Birch Press

sankar_raman
OUTSIDER
by Risa Denenberg

I live in a small town of recovered alcoholics
who go to weeknight meetings to drink coffee
and gossip: who versus who, where, how often,
when. These good people also go to church
on Sundays to hear sermons drawn from within
the town’s close-cropped borders and offer prayers
to heal sins they will later talk about over pork
ciabatta at the Longhouse.

I’m the oddball: vegetarian lesbian poet
who celebrates Pesach to their Easter, rents instead
of owns, has never married, chooses to live alone.

Last week I bought a push mower and huffed
around my yard cutting the tall grass and elfin
pink and violet florets down to nubbins. I did
this to ward off chatter among my friendly neighbors
over my overgrown habits, although I know they think
it’s strange to not eat meat and refuse to waste
gasoline on this endeavor. If I…

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