The Day We Discovered Pornography In The Mail

By Leontia Flynn

I once lived in a rented red-brick house
where everyone signed on and slept till noon.
That summer, the city stood like an open door
into a room where something had just ended,
the wine glasses abandoned in the first dawn light.

Because we were so young and so belated,
because we wanted nothing and expected nobody,
the day we discovered pornography in the mail
was a revelation – it seemed a sudden windfall
or a hoopla tossed, with skill, over the rooftops.

We wanted to kneel with gentle reverence
to the envelope, where it lay behind the door
– or to take it up, like a rose, between our teeth.
We wanted to trace that name through the empty streets;
we wanted to cheer him for making a fist of it.

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