Tag Archives: imagination

How You See Depends on Where You Go

If you were a hot dog…

How You See Depends on Where You Go                                     Jynne Dilling Martin


If I were a hot dog, no way would I want to hang around

all week in the boiling water of a metal hot dog cart.


The dark would make me claustrophobic, the smell

must be pungent, and though we’d all pretend to be friends,


each time the sky split open and the aluminum tongs

came down everyone would hustle hoping to be chosen


and then be so pissed afterwards about life’s randomness

and inequality, since the dog selected would totally suck.


With nothing else to go on, we’d idiotically think

hot dogs were the only food and our cart the only cart


and our vendor the one who invented the light and dark.

We’d carve a fresco of our cart’s history on the metal


using a rusted knife that had fallen into our water.

We’d be such a joke to the ketchup and the mustard!


No, I’d rather be an eight-pack dog in the refrigeration aisle

of a grocery store, and not just anywhere in that pack,


but one of the four on bottom with a transparent plastic view

of the suburban shoppers. Then I could scan all the people


and feel quietly superior to the ugly and unhappy ones,

knowing my snug life at least is better than that.




You never know exactly what children are taking away from listening to adult conversations. I remember not wanting to go to bed as a young child in cause I was going to miss something exciting. In this piece we don’t hear the mother’s answer to the solution that is offered.


Eavesdropping                                                                      Michelle Boisseau


It was Mrs. Garvin, the doctor’s wife,

who told my mother, Well, if you’re that broke,

put the kids up for adoption.

Out under the porch light that summer,

we slapped at mosquitoes and invented

our brave escape-luminous sheets

knotted out the window

were the lines of a highway down the house.

We would know the way,

like ingenious animals, to go

quietly toward the river,

but we could imagine no further

than the shacks on stilts

shivering the water,

the Kentucky hills on the other side.

Denise, the youngest, took to sleepwalking,

wading room to room for the place

one of us-curled up in a bed’s corner-

might have left her. I’d wake

to her face pressed against my back,

her hands reining the edges of my nightgown.

I didn’t tuck her into my shoulder

but loosened her fingers and led her

back to her own bed, her fear

already seeping into me like water

or like the light spilling

from the milk truck

as it backfired down the street.