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Allen Grossman

Allen Grossman is the author of Sweet Youth: Poems by a Young Man and an Old Man, Old and New 1953-2001 (New Directions, 2002).

By This Poet


White Sales


	White sales

The Bus stops uptown
next to the John Deere.

The step from the paving
into the bus is high.

How did Irene get on the bus?
This is a trouble.

"I am not a tall girl."
She thought she would take the

train on the way back:
"But I, even as the dogs,

feel a yearning
for the infinite. . . .I cannot,

I cannot satisfy that hunger!
I am the daughter of a man and a woman.

I had thought to be more than this.
If it had been left to me. I would much

rather have been the daughter of
a shark."


On the bus Irene talked to a fat
blind woman. They talked about

January White Sales. The blind
woman was going to the Cities

to buy sheets. She said
"Percale," "Lotus Bloom,"

"Egyptian Cotton." 
Then the fat, blind, honey-

blond Fate kissed Irene.
From the mouth of the 

Fate a stone passed
into the mouth of the girl

who then said, "I have begun.
I go up from where I was thrown

to where I shall betake myself.
There Solomon in all his glory

shall receive his queen."