Cathexis Northwest Press

© 2018 

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Skiing, after Summer-School

When my friends and I found that price, 

the one worth its weight 

in fresh powder, 

every day was a white Christmas 

in July. 

 

Our parents, 

for some reason, 

never asked Why?

 

when we crept 

into their rooms

like midnight cold-fronts,

fronted cold-hard-cash

bought blizzards

& went skiing, every day 

after summer-school

 

They said

the exercise was good for us;

that it made us look fit.

They loved how we looked

 

So good!

they would say;

Like movie stars!

 

We looked so good

we'd lock ourselves in the bathroom,

rip the mirror from the wall

so we could ogle ourselves

like movie stars: 

& get high 

off our reflections

 

We looked so good!

 

so scrawny

so sad

so tired  

so scared

 

& so alone: 

 

our once-happy eyes lifeless 

blood-shot, burnt-out bulbs; 

our smiles bound into frowns

by chain smoke. 

We looked good

 

enough to kill an appetite

but who of us needed food?

 

We had fresh powder

by the face-full, every day

 

the cold burn 

embedded into our nostrils. 

The taste engraved onto the plate. 

Mark Blackford was born and raised in Sullivan County, NY, only 20 minutes from the site of the 1969 Woodstock Music and Arts Festival. He received a B.A. in English from Valdosta State University (GA, 2010). He presently resides in Woodridge, NY with his wife and children, and is currently the Poet Laureate of Sullivan County, NY.