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You Better Think Madrigal

ISSUE:  Fall 2019


“Think,” Aretha Franklin and Ted White, Aretha Now, Atlantic, 1968

This dive-bombing catbird 
swoops low in divots, porchward,

firing her warning shot—
all adolescence, swift & raucous—

aimed at me. I’ve strayed too close
to her hidden, sloppy nest.

I’ve been her. Loading the dishwasher,
passive-aggressively shaking ass,

fists bristled with dinner-party cutlery,
finger-scraping the plates of infidelity:

I’ve lip-synched to the Queen
of What You’ve Tried to Do to Me.

Me? I’ve mislaid the thinking gene.
I’m seventeen. A loaded magazine. Pure gasoline.



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