Sex and Class and Race

Books say parents
didn't mourn their children

in previous centuries, that
nose-wipes and infants

died as edelweiss on a granite face,
so much sex in excess.

But, at the very least, the poor
had their need for labor.

Perhaps the rich left children
to wolves or footmen,

perhaps they saw a child
as a purse divided.


But even their women ran
into the snow, not to return,

or cut something again and again
so it wouldn't mend.

Yet people do forget.
Even I forget,

blind in the dark passage,
bent as the Victorian foliage

that screens me from them,
so sepia-dirty in their sullen

photos they might be another race
if color is what it takes

to dodge such sorrow.