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Oliver Baez Bendorf shares his poem "Love and the Bodega".

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Published by Kent State University Press, 2015. Used by permission. For more information or to order the book:

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I'm Oliver Baez Bendorf and this is my poem "Love and the Bodega".

I wrote it in the middle of a Wisconsin winter when the corner store in my neighborhood was like this beacon of warmth and I was thinking about that and also reading about how ice forms and those two things just kind of blended together into this poem.

Love and the Bodega

Love went to the bodega and said, look, 
Both of us are products of the cold night air. 
We could get together at dew point.  I'll call you
Any funny thing.  The bodega said, love, 
I am in contact with a freezing surface.
A freezing cold surface is in touch with me.
Love scattered the bodega's molecules
Thoroughly.  In the street, pieces of bodega 
Strewn quite randomly.  Some pieces ended up
In the lapidary looking like stones.  Some pieces
Blew through the wall of the old dog kennel.
And everyone who worked at the record store
Was pissed because who wants, at minimum wage,
to have to pick bodega chunks out of the bluegrass
Bin?  Love does, that's who.  The bodega took it easy
In pieces in the blue jean pocket of love.  In a chorus 
Of whispers, the bodega said, love, I'm going to send you
In a straight line to the sky.  I'm going to reach you from all
Parts of it.