More on poetry from The Atlantic Monthly.

Also by Laura Newbern:
Dance (1997)

The Atlantic Monthly | December 2001

by Laura Newbern
audioear pictureHear Laura Newbern read this poem (in RealAudio)

The mailman
is drunk.
It is spring. It
is spring
and the mailman is
drunk, I see him
shaking his way
down the wet
street from my
window, which
is pretty. My

pretty window the mailman
is drunk in, out
in his slicker
and bright
boots—did I say
it is raining? Rain
and the mailman
is drunk, and
eight, only eight
homes on this
street, and he
is crashing
into air
in the middle—

I love him
for this, love him
drunk, in rain,
in the green pain
oblivion is—

Is it
sick, or strange
placing myself
here in the
story, his green
princess? I did
say it is
spring, and I
see him, and see
the leaves,
slappy wet, begin
to make for the mailman
a frame, a frame
shaped like a leafy
heart, a heart
as leafy as if

          as if we
were, this raining
morning, happy.

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Copyright © 2001 by The Atlantic Monthly Group. All rights reserved.
The Atlantic Monthly; December 2001; Pain; Volume 288, No. 5; 104.