Since 1996 Volume XXI
Written While Grading the Undergraduates’ Final Exams Here are the lights going off in the booths at Araby one by one, the carnival being packed up, gray aluminum louvers shuttered like thunder on the radiance of sparkling storefronts. But what were they full of anyway? Merchandise, they’d say. Geegaws—that fussy term from yet another nineteenth century book the students have only skimmed because it didn’t shine for them the way their selfies can. They are peddling empty résumés now in the crowded streets; baristas, they’re pouring hot foam into a metal beaker as steam rises. But not like horse’s breath in a meadow. No. It escapes from underground, from the iron navel in a manhole cover. Or from the flimsy cups customers hold to their lips like Styrofoam chalices. They’ve stirred sweetener in so hastily they’ve left spindrifts of sugar spilled on the floor.
Copyright, Susan Gubernat.