“National Poetry Month” #20: David B. Goldstein

WHAT LUCY USED TO BE

What Lucy used to be, I now am. Or rather, I accommodate her foibles; they live on in me now that she is gone. For instance: the thin switch of the horse’s tail. The barn before sunrise, cold as oats. Trepidation in a nearby thrush. We believe that the dust layering the indoor ring comes from somewhere close by.

After the damage show, during which Lucy won a pink ribbon, we headed to the Amsterdam Pub. Lucy still had on her dressage silencer. I was then just one of her admirers. My only claim to fame was having come up with a slogan for the owls in our local forest: Stronger than Ever! But from that, I was indeed very famous.

I suppose she liked my girlish charm, my keychain of boys. She held the reins absently while the horses grazed in a nearby paddock. Later, on the ranch house roof, we exchanged lockets. When we had sex, it was not exactly life, but more like the Cambridge Companion to Life, with essays of incisive brevity.

I have learned several important lessons from my love affair with Lucy: One: I know no Lucy who does not know me. Two: I am a gentle consumer. Three: I would like this bed to be free of stones if possible. Four: It is better to be a cabinet maker. Five: When the town doesn’t want me anymore, it will say so.


Taken from David B. Goldstein’s forthcoming title Laws of Rest “What Lucy Used to Be” is part of a larger series of what Goldstein calls “prose sonnets.” Perfect Sunday reading.

David B. Goldstein’s poetry has appeared in journals and anthologies throughout north America, including The Paris Review, The Malahat Review, filling Station, CV2, Epoch, Harp & Altar, Jubilat, 6×6, and Octopus. his first chapbook, Been Raw Diction, was published by Dusie Press in 2006. As a literary critic, food writer, and translator, he has published on a wide range of subjects, including Shakespeare, contemporary poetry, translation, cannibalism, philosophies of food, and the politics of Martha Stewart. his first book of criticism, Eating and Ethics in Shakespeare’s England, is due out this fall. his translations from Italian poetry appear in The FSG Book of 20th-Century Italian Poetry, among other publications. Goldstein lives with his family in Toronto, where he is Associate Professor of English at York University.

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