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.