Lodestar Quarterly

Lodestar Quarterly
Figure reaching for a star Issue 11 • Fall 2004 • Poetry

rolling (her) my bugler

Stephanie Gray

cigarettes for me, she talks
fast, playing the jackson 5s ABCs
in the background of a park we
are sitting in, but it is blurry and i
don't see it, like the best of 35mm
movies that focus on the intense
face before you, while something
fishy lurks in the background,
and there is ominous Jaws kinda
music, not the ABCs of the jackson 5.
even tho there's a bridge of free
way traffic we just rode our bikes
over, an expanse of water, a river
dividing this city, we looked down
and thought we saw our smiles
maybe, in a glimmer of ripple. she
talks so fast, speech littered with so
many you knows, likes, i means, i
hardly even notice like i usually do
with other people, cuz it sounds so
much like music, and she even sings
with the chorus when it starts. soft
ABCs and she doesn't ever even think
to make fun of me that i've been hanging
out with her for 2 yrs and still can't roll
a single bugler cigarette without taking
30 minutes while i watch her lips move
and she's done with her first one.
but she never looks down to see
my fingers fumbling, making a soggy
bumpy cigarette. she's on her 3rd now,
while all the while i watch her lips while
i roll mine and finally smoke it, lighting
it every other hit. once, i was (or was it
more?) watching her lips and likes
and abcs and she gently took the lumpy
cig outta my hand and rolled it, while
i still watch her lips, and smoke,
not remembering this 'til tomorrow

Stephanie Gray is a poet and experimental filmmaker. Her short, hand-processed, Super-8 films Kristy (about the infamous McNichol) and Dear Joan (about incognito lesbian Joan of Arc) have screened internationally at queer film festivals such as the San Francisco Lesbian and Gay Film Festival, Inside Out Lesbian and Gay Film Festival, and Image Out: Rochester Lesbian and Gay Film Festival. As a filmmaker, she has received a 2003 New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship in film. She was a 2000 finalist for a Constance Saltonstall Foundation for the Arts Poetry Fellowship. Her poems have recently appeared in the online poetry journal Can We Have Our Ball Back?

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