Issue No. 20 | Spring 2019

Bridgeport Again 

After Randall Mann

At the Subway sandwich shop

edge of Route 31

I watch my teen self flirt

with an even younger boy

selling him ice cream

and french fries,

touching his hand,

taking his money.

I see her, hardworking and alone,

grateful that someone

recognizes her bravado.

Weakness. All women. 

I weep my confession

and because she couldn’t

see it coming, I excuse her

the tight jeans, dangling fish-lure

earrings, the curling iron.

She, I, must have been

nineteen: all boys were fair

game then—


keg beer at the boat launch party

despair of music videos

and FM radio.

How did I


even learn how to love

after the 1980s?

Flatlander, outsider,

milkweed pods bursting,

I forgive her.



Hope Jordan is a candidate for an MFA in Creative Writing at UMass Boston, where she won the 2018 Academy of American Poets University and College Poetry Prize. Her chapbook, The Day She Decided to Feed Crows, was published in 2018 by Cervena Barva Press. Her poems have appeared/are forthcoming in Split Rock Review, Woven Tale Press, Nine Mile, and Comstock Review. She was the first official poetry slam master in New Hampshire.