Vidalia by Alice Anderson



There’s a drop-out girl on my block
now (eleven going on seventeen) who each day
sits on Sweet Earl’s front porch eating a purple
onion like it’s a black plum, luscious and

ripe. A stippled beauty – rail thin, endless
limbs, jade eyes, snarled copper hair
to the waist, greasy Levi’s, a chopped,
mini-length thrift store wedding gown/

She takes the day entire to eat that
onion, last bite beckoning night. She’s
stuck a galaxy of shoplifted glow-in-the-dark
stars up on the falling-panel ceiling

in their bedroom. All night Sweet Earl
kisses her violet prize, and bites her
there – hard. Even then, sultry blood
rising, she still don’t shed a tear.



Alice Anderson‘s collection “Human Nature” won the Bobst Prize from NYU and the Best First Book Prize from The Great Lakes Colleges Association. Her work is included in “American Poetry: The Next Generation” and “On The Verge: Emerging Poets in America.” After recovering from traumatic brain injury, she has completed two new poetry manuscripts, THE WATERMARK and ELECTRIC PLUM BURLESQUE.