Poetry

A Glimpse of Beau Jack

Philadelphia, 1946. Night. My father and I are walking home along a pavement raked by swirling snowflakes whenever the wind kicks up. Having just emerged from under the beamed shadows of the El we cross to the Arena, heading home —to mashed potatoes, sisters, downcast eyes, anger and sullen silence—past the wall in which a door stands open and I see in luminous blackness hundreds of black shapes, heads and shoulders, the sides of faces silvered in swirls of smoke, the embers of cigars glowing an instant and then blacking out— far off in the black depths the source of…

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