M.J. Iuppa

Singular Verb Matches Singular Subject

Lost in constant traffic, noise streaming on her street, in her head—tweets,
bells, whistles, she feels pinched, sitting in single conversation with voices
as loud as hers. She constructs an argument out of straw, waiting for some-
one to strike a match. It rains, cold and hard, for the end-of-and-beginning-
of-another year, without letting up; so she walks to the corner store & buys
a lottery ticket called Lucky 7’s. She wants to bum a menthol cigarette from
her quiet neighbor. On the sly, she watches him paint abstracts. Today, he
has a little green on his fingers.

Getting Serious

Standing in line at the pharmacy, she presses a package of sushi
and a bag of chopped salad to her chest, while trying to find her
phone ringing in her oversized handbag. A woman behind her
says, “ Hullo.” She looks up. The phone stops ringing. They talk
like friends. “Come over later,” the woman says, kindly. She says,
no, too busy with sushi and chopped salad; she’s celebrating a
new King-size bed with adjustable sides.”It’s gotten to that point,”
she sighs. She can’t believe they agreed so quickly, not arguing
which side is better; like that, all problems solved.

M.J. Iuppa is the Director of the Visual and Performing Arts Minor Program and Lecturer in Creative Writing at St. John Fisher College; and since 2000 to present, is a part time lecturer in Creative Writing at The College at Brockport. Since 1986, she has been a teaching artist, working with students, K-12, in Rochester, NY, and surrounding area. She has three full length poetry collections, most recently Small Worlds Floating as well as Within Reach, both from Cherry Grove Collections; Night Traveler (Foothills Publishing, 2003)); and 5 chapbooks. She lives on a small farm in Hamlin NY.
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