Red Sweater

red
Red Sweater
for Amy
by Joshua McDermott

I walked by a couple standing on the sidewalk today,
I wore a red sweater. I was going home.
They were overweight. She was kissing a cigarette. He had
pajama pants on. They looked like they
loved each other. And I couldn’t
stop thinking about them all the way back
to my little white apartment.

I’m burning lately and I don’t know why.

I think it started this summer
at Ryan and Kate’s house
when I was alone for a month
with no home to go to.
I bought that beer that made me sick.
I took the tracks into the city and didn’t
say a word to anyone.
I laid in the backyard at night
and prayed that the glow from downtown
would tell me who I was.

It’s like that.

1 thought on “Red Sweater

  1. I like this: a moody disjunctive piece about thwarted passion, tied together by the title, which isn’t in the poem. “White” is the color of the apartment, but it isn’t a passion word. “Red” is, and maybe even “sweater,” along with “cigarette,” “burning,” and “glow.” Passion here equals identity, but no amount of prayer can convince images of passion to “tell me who I was.”

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