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Matinee What I want this morning is simple: for the day and streets to collaborate and make me a movie in which I am the unwitting star. But then a commotion from the third floor window stops my walk and a voice comes over the block: You got it all wrong, Rose. Rose, you got it all wrong. And I do not know Rose, but I can tell it’s the end of my movie. Now it’s all about Rose. How could she My steps: How. How. How. The neighborhood dogs seem also preoccupied. What was Rose thinking? On the avenue a convergence of fire trucks throws holiday light on storefronts. There’s a man twisting wire ropes into fine figures of animals and I’m thirsty. Was it a bad choice of philosophy or husband? Or is it this voice that is mistaken, to question Rose’s judgment? The afternoon: more walking. Past the community garden, with open gate, looking slight and fenced. Past the neighborhood dogs, past flower stalls, and rows of buds that say the same thing: You got it all wrong, Rose. Rose, you got it all wrong. What about you, Rose? Did you get it Penny Dreadful The Rycko Hungarian Pastry Shop is an orphanage for abandoned refrigerator display cases, astonished white boxes. Where do the neglected cakes of this life end up? Here at The Rycko Hungarian Pastry Shop: windows crowded with empty doilies, handkerchiefs offered to so many imagined suitors: one for you and you and you and fossilized cakes \(bereft war brides, painted ladies, dressed up to meet the men who went to Paris, Pakistan, desert climates, who never This shop is closed indefinitely. If I were lost to the world in this city, I’m thinking mostly of you, I would come here, to this sad, startled patisserie. The doll hospital is too crowded, you never know what they’ll feed you. Passenger You travel Bonanza. You look out over the pasture. Out over the pasture at the one house with its one pine and its flag pole. How they stand sparingly on their acre. Commenting, to yourself, that the scene reminds you of the first page of an illustrated counting book. The scene makes you think: one. You like the wide wrapped windows on this coach. The panorama they provide of the area’s trees and wood framed houses, silhouettes past dark, and dots of light. A point of view. You listen to static and stations overlapping, thinking you hear what is heard inside these houses and these streets with which the bus acquaints you, however fleetingly. The word fleeting strikes you as particularly heartrending. You see some motels, some prize motor lodges. Reflecting on small details of your life: green vinyl, moth balls. The curved rail of a kidney shaped pool, and What? When the bus pulls into the city, past famous parks and museums at night, you feel caught. Somewhere inside this configuration of blocks is your block. That is, the whole loud city with its spectaculars and monuments also contains your bedroom with its interior monuments \(fan, in that spot, also, is the place where you are contained. EMILY FORLAND Emily Forland is a Texan living in New York City, where she works at a literary agency. She grew up in San Antonio, graduated from MacArthur High School in 1991, got her A.B. at the University of Chicago in 1995, and her M.F.A. from Sarah Lawrence College in 1998. As an avid reader of Forland’s poems for more than ten years, I continue to find them refreshingly uncluttered and delightful. May they help each of us find our own “monuments” at this landmark calendar time. Naomi Shihab Nye 24 THE TEXAS OBSERVER DECEMBER 24, 1999