Supporting the War Effort
Boys don’t make passes at girls who are fascist,
my grandmother said once. She’d been drinking
so up came the war. Her voice took on an edge,
Mid-Atlantic and mean like a newsreel announcer
relishing the body count of enemy dead.
She described her stationery, the many stacks
tucked alongside sprigs of lavender
in an old humidor; how she’d lick each envelope
with her eyes closed for all the boys she’d never kiss
dying on the beaches she’d never see.
Glasses, I told her. Girls who wear glasses.
Silence threaded the moment; I could count each stitch.
No, she’d said, That’s not how it goes at all.