Jay Rubin

Jay Rubin teaches writing at The College of Alameda in the San Fran­cisco Bay Area and publishes Alehouse, an all-poetry literary journal, at www.alehousepress.com.  He holds an MFA in Poetry from New England College and lives in San Francisco with his son and Norwich terrier.



after Stephen Dunn, 2011

A young man approached the congresswoman
Supermarket parking lot, his home town
He had chosen her—she, the place
Others had chosen what to wear
What to ask, not to be killed
The congresswoman who voted no
Had angered him some time ago
College classmates called him trouble
The kind you just can’t bury on your own
I watched the fallout on TV, myself
Among the righteous, sinning against friends
But I am not important
They were standing close
The desert sun a stone when he decided
When he chose not to be forgotten
He sentenced her and the judge, too
And a little girl with broken bones
Someone grabbed him, reined him in
A dozen gave their blood
For days, we watched the dance
The sheriff tugging up his saggy jeans
The air pulsed—our hands
Were fisted, damp
We were yelled at, lied to, whites, racists, tea
It seemed the shooting never stopped
Then these final soothing words:  She’s fine
She’s opened up her eyes.
  And yet we hurt
And yet we choose to hold that hurt

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