Oyster Boy Review 10  
  January 1999
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» Levee 67



Thomas McDade

Sometimes when she's dancing
nude for the sailors
Sylvia thinks of the prison
up the street
and her arms and legs
are chained.
  But tonight Sylvia
dwells on the dying
lifer who escaped
in a suitcase
lugged by his wife.
  She clutches a thrown hat
to her breast
like her dead baby's bonnet
and closes around it
like an angry fist.
  When she imagines
the chafing of canvas,
the smell of seabag,
she opens like a hand.
  She tosses the hat
to the sailor
who looks strong enough.