A Poem By Alissa Quart

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Anorectic transplant flashes
skins at fashion
sisters, Liquid Paper
arms, vanishes as an and into
an aesthetic. Home

a lead painted hut.
An occupational art
therapist makes luxury
cubes. She photo shops.
A liberal arts stripper
silver collars herself,
souvenir to man’s bad taste.

Crush a verb here,
noun inside waits.
Vintage blouses
offer reprisal. A mile
more and this retro
plane passes into
unfinished pastness.

These were the lower middle’s
unlovely places, all named
as paradises: Sunset
Park, Neptune Avenue, Mid-
wood. Elm-shaded mother-

daughter houses. Managerial
class fear of falling. Serge-
suited, a strollered citizen’s
brigade, Saturday Evening
Post
-its. They do not notice
a man’s tattooed torso,
an ice cream cake falling
into mortification
as ceremony turns mourning
to nostalgia and villains
and cities go on.




Alissa Quart’s poetry has appeared in Open City and Fence. She’s the author of the non-fiction books Branded, Hothouse Kids and the forthcoming Republic of Outsiders, and senior editor of The Atavist. She writes a column for Columbia Journalism Review, “Reality Check.”

Poem til you puke, right here at The Poetry Section’s esteemed archival vault. You may contact the editor at poems@theawl.com.