Old Photograph

BY Susan  Yount

It is August, 1991 and I am in love.

                                             we become

bored while you think between cigarettes.
Still, 4 years before my first death,  
it’s summer and we’ve become ruin.
Already, your hands on my red dress.

It is 4 years before my first death  
and I am a beautiful, pantoum ruin.
Already, your hands are in my black dress.
Our best friend is about to take the photograph.

I am a beautiful, broken pantoum.
“She Talks To Angels” plays in the background,
our best friend is about to take the photograph.
If I was suffering, I kept quiet about it.

“She Talks To Angels” will always remind you of me;
we car-surfed, poured vodka mixers. We were poor.
If we were suffering, we kept quiet about it.
I am wearing your silver cross; I hope you forget,

sip vodka in graveyards. Never mind our poverty,

I hope you can forget
my secrets, the minor fall, the major lift. “Hallelujah” 
reminds me of you.

I was wrong—
I am ruin, a drunken pantoum. You can never forget
my secrets, my suffering, the major fall, the minor lift—Hallelujah.
It was 1991 when we were in love.


Ghost Ocean 11

Susan reads "Old Photograph"

SUSAN YOUNT was born and raised on a 164-acre farm in Southern Indiana where she learned to drive a tractor, harvest crops, feed the chickens and hug her beloved goat, Cinnamon. She is the Editor and Publisher of Arsenic Lobster, works fulltime at the Associated Press, teaches online workshops at the Rooster Moans and is the founder of Misty Publications. Her poetry has appeared in several print and online magazines including Elixir, Bathtub Gin, Wicked Alice, Verse Daily and The Chaffin Journal. Susan is a 2003 recipient of The Lynda Hull Memorial Scholarship in Poetry. In 2010 she was awarded first prize in the 16th Annual Juried Reading competition at The Poetry Center Of Chicago. In her spare (!) time she moonlights as the madame at the Chicago Poetry Bordello. Her chapbook, Catastrophe Theory, is out with Hyacinth Girl Press.