Four Way Books
Why the Ships are She
by Terri Ford

ISBN: 1-884800-37-8
paper, 70 pages, $13.95

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It is 1974 and out the institutional open windows
of the college dorm, nylon bikinis in floral prints
are plummeting like the cheap bodies of birds. And then

your mother's large white briefs like a mainsail, like
a flag of surrender, begin a slow dancing down current,
cinematic, lithe. All of the faces
are turning up, hushed, like those
holding a hoop to save a child burning. It is the opposite

of being lifted into the sky
the way I imagined my grandfather ascending
after the long pain of illness: this large pair of underpants
falling forever on the startled face
of an undergraduate boy.

For Paula Snow