Lyn Lifshin

Cove Point

Some afternoons, in a certain
mood, there’s a word, a name
I have to remember. Some
times it’s for no reason: the
twins I never could remember
till I thought of cameras in the
attic: Garret and Cameron.
Yesterday it was the ramshackle
casino, its name over the lake
where, for the first time, in
white shorts and tan legs, my
heart banged: would I be
asked to dance? And what of
“The Mocking Bird” with its
kiss her in the center if you
dare? You have to remember,
I was the plump girl with
glasses of course I didn’t wear
those nights so a lot blurred.
I was the girl who won science
contests and art awards. To have
boys who didn’t know I was
brainy, ask will I… was like
heroin. “Ramshackle Pavilion”
in a lost student’s poem sent me
to Google, to Lake Dunmore,
Branbury Beach: nothing. I knew
it burned down as if it never had
been there. Chimney Point? No.
With so many of my friends
going, the name of this dance hall
where I first felt pretty is a comfort
I’m starved for. I email Vermont tourist
sites, history sites with little
hope until in a warm tub I think:
diary, the little red one with a
lock that never worked there
near the bed. I turn to Augusts
and there it was with seven
exclamation points and what I’d
been hunting for in so many
ways: Cove Point

The Dead Girls, The Dying Girls

more lovely than gymnasts,
their skin is perfect, riveting
like the look in their eyes.
Nobody can believe it
could happen. The dead
girls will always have
secrets about them
the police won’t share.
If it’s snowing, footsteps
are lost under that veil,
white as a bride’s.
They are brides with
no good end. One leaves
her DNA in tears in the
murderer’s trailer,
her skin, the only SOS

If Those Blossoms Don’t Come

If the tangerine doesn’t
fill the house with thick
sweetness. If you put
your hands over your
ears one more time
when I’m talking. If
there’s another month
of wanting to sleep all
day, the cat the warmest
sweet thing I can imagine.
If this damn rain doesn’t
let up, I am going to
have to rewrite the story
you’ve got in your head
about us and I don’t
think you will like
the ending

Lyn LifshinLyn Lifshin’s books include Knife Edge & Absinthe – the Tango poems; For the Roses (with Robert Bixby); All The Poets Who Touched Me; A Girl Goes Into The Woods; Malala, Tangled as the Alphabet -The Istanbul Poems, and Secretariat: The Red Freak, the Miracle. Her website is