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She’s so happy, this girl,

she’s sending out sparks like a brush fire,

so lit with life

her eyes could beam airplanes through fog,

so warm with his loving

we could blacken our toast

on her forehead.

The phone rings

and she whispers to it

“I love you.”

The cord uncoils

and leaps to tell him

she said it,

the receiver melts in her hand

as if done by Dalí,

the whole room crackles

and we at the breakfast table

smile

but at safe distance

having learned by living

that love so without insulation

can immolate more than the toast.


LoVerne Brown (1912–2000) lived much of her life in sparsely peopled places — the Aleutian Islands, her grandparents’ homestead in Wisconsin, and in lumber camps and iron-mine company towns along the Brule River in Upper Michigan. In Juneau, she worked as a reporter and later, in Seldovia, she and her husband published a weekly newspaper,
The Westward Alaskan. She subsequently taught creative writing for the VA, at Fresno Junior College, and for the community school system in San Diego, the city in which she spent the last decades of her life. LoVerne Brown was a central figure in the San Diego poetry world and a writer and mentor who was greatly loved. This year marks the centennial of her birth. “A Sunday Morning After a Saturday Night” is from her collection The View from the End of the Pier, published by Gorilla Press, and is reprinted by permission.

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