Central Square

Being robbedmakes everyone a suspect:the man coming out of his apartmentnext door, the garbage man,the man on the street chattinginto his cell phone.This is not how I want to live.And the man with the drunken slur,who invades people’s space untilthey shove him away, I am surethis is not how he wants to live his lifeeither. Stealing people’s backpacksonly to find class notes andconfidential papers,computer disks and prescription glasses.This is not what this time,this brief blip in the cosmos,should be. I want to sort out”the beautiful,” like my third grade friendsorted out the beautiful, sleek racing carsfrom the beat up matchbox ones.Not even a hesitation–just throw backwhat isn’t beautiful.Throw it back.

–Eve Lyons

First Night 2000

After the spanglesAnd the stems of fire, the fray of sparksAnd smoke rolling on the west wind,We feel againThe ice under our feet, the dry airThat cracks this first kiss in the darkOf a thousand years,The crowds already driving backThrough blue fumes of their own exhaust,Until we’re leftAlone in the new night, just two,Two, before the nothing that outnumbers us.

–Elton Glaser

Eve Lyons grew up in San Antonio. Despite her current residence in Cambridge, Massachusetts, she says she “grinned for two hours straight upon hearing Tim Duncan’s intentions to stay with the SPURS.” A graduate of Reed College in Oregon, she has traveled in the Middle East, worked in a residential treatment facility for abused kids, and is now studying expressive arts therapy at Lesley College.

Elton Glaser directed the University of Akron Press before his retirement and continues to edit the Akron Series in Poetry. Currently he is editing an anthology of Ohio poems. Although our calendars are barreling headlong into the year 2001 already, Glaser’s image for the year 2000 captivated me–some of us are not done thinking about that startling number yet.

–Naomi Shihab Nye

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Published at 12:00 am CST