Three Alliquippa House Poems by Sally Levy (1948-1954)

In the hollow wind skimming missing us
almost lunch almost touching
sun pressing us into the needling hill

Junie black red bean shirted
reading aloud
Bell on top of the trunk wood pole
Almost lunch almost touching

Oh life
please come
not to be life
at all

Left the days marooned on an August calendar
years later to be retrieved as the summer Freddy played the relic piano
The bay would shag the rocks
the junipers would spitely still the wind
the grass rayed out would strand,
and too the dark
Wed wait
blood black ice salt wool butterball water tomatoes
for him to send Lover waltzing into nightmaine
so we could florentine
and then become the way the notes go
all spoony
remember those movies?
dancing down long corridors of evening

Awake, I walk down the dirt lane with marsh and woods falling off its shoulders,
then I go the way toward the general store. Struggling,
wet like the melting tar, dry as the weeds that edge it,
lusting for the pastel discs dusted with powdered sugar
and rolled into brittle clouded cellophane,
past blades and blooms and trees and forms of life I cant name,
past properties and ponds with histories I cant recount,
past a sense of ancient conduct, immutable and stern,
and me, limp, without an impulse to be taut,
and me, dying to sit in a dank movie house
with a box of chocolate babies.

Hiding among the junipers, I eat, and look.
The bay rushes around Goose Rock
leaving one channel through exasperated water,
to the left it takes on loads of lobster markers, eddies to inlets around pine islands
to necks and coves and flows
to resolutions out of sight, to the right, it finds a stretch with beaches
and ends in a point of rocks.
My tongue is candy, and I am detached, without an impulse to band.
In years to come
I will browse through catalogues
in the hope of discovering my interests.

Asleep, anywhere, I sometimes think I move through the downstairs
dark with temporary silence
changed by my age
to a place
I will never know again
toward the mahogany honeycomb of mail slots
in the well beneath the steps.

Nothing is there.

the black bay
with its spine of moon
and its thoughtless secret.

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