Issue 11, December 2013
{ Making Sense }
by Kathryn Weld
At eighteen, a dropout, I met Chip 
at a Cambridge coffee house. His elfin 
nose was freckled, his hair fell straight, 
blunt cut, to his chin. At fifteen
his mother seduced him. It went on 
for two years, he said. Some things 
don't make sense. During a blizzard 
he cut the telephone wires, left home 
and hitched to Boston. Or so he told me. 
That made sense. We traveled
on money I saved from Christmas,
then survived on welfare, a furnished 
room, and food stamps. I claimed 
a downtown corner at dawn. 
All Monday long, and Tuesday, 
I crowed, Phoenix! Boston 
After Dark! Some weeks 
we made fifty selling 
the news. The garbage piled in August. 
One night we tried to hitch to Vermont. 
Things happen. Some don't make sense. 
The cream sedan stopped short. 
I'm Sid, he said, towering 
as he stowed packs in the trunk. His hair 
was white, brushed back, and bushy; 
his nose thick, but genial. Driving, 
he described his show- a circus. 
Did we need jobs? But first, 
an interview – we could go 
now, to his walk-up. Yes? 
You'll wear a little vest in the show, 
he said, so I have to see your breasts, 
and I – was it bravado? – peeled off 
my shirt. Things never 
make sense. Your bra, he said. Twirl! 
Let's talk in the other room. 
His bed. It made no sense. 
His belly – large and hairy, his small 
needy prick. I tried to use 
my mouth, but couldn't. He sent for Chip. 
I waited. The kitchen light bulb 
dangled. A photo, black and white, 
of five cops in uniform on the shelf. 
When they came back, Sid 
pointed, Yes. My brother is a cop – 
my uncle – in the mob. As if it made
sense, he drove us back. Don't tell 
police, or boom! As soon as you
forget – your parents – neighbors – boom! 
he said, and left bags and us, 
two hours later, on the edge 
of Route 2 West.

Kathryn Weld is a mathematician and a poet living just north of New York City. She teaches at Manhattan College. She still spends summers in a rustic family home in the Adirondacks. She received her M.F.A. from Sewanee School of Letters and her Ph.D. (in Algebraic Topology) from the CUNY Graduate Center. She was a finalist in the Gearhart Poetry Contest.