Portrait of a Young Man, 1919

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June 20, 2021 by The Citron Review

by Lane Fields


John walked back from the dock,
hands stuffed in his jacket, pistol
& medal of the Madonna

in a hand-sewn pocket, dark
hair slicked back with brilliantine,
barely sixteen; he dragged

on his cigarette while the other
stevedores talked about the haul
that day, their girls, nighttime plans;

John said nothing, just breathed in
the salty mist; the evening air
or dread, a chill throughout his body;

how he trembled: the first time he ever held
a gun my great-grandmother’s hand—


Lane Fields is a queer, trans poet living in Boston and a student of the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College. Lane’s poetry is forthcoming or has appeared in places such as Hobart, Yemassee, Interim, and Tupelo Press’s 30/30 Project.

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George Arents Collection, The New York Public Library. "Sunflower." The New York Public Library Digital Collections.

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