Husky Boys’ Dickies
WTF texts Josey, and I text back OMG.  We had to tell Maggie what LOL 
meant—it’s not Lots Of Love, though that almost always fits.  Major 
emailed LMAO when I assumed his inbox gets dealt with by an underling, 
some undergrad, assumed it was Major’s minor who invited me to read but
“can not pay much sum of monies.” Sum of Monies?  I emailed back, 
 
Who wrote this?  Your assistant’s a Nigerian prince?  WTF. 
For a while we just played with these, joking, like I tried on 
Wicked when I moved to Boston, called Lisa Liser, pizza pizzer, said 
Fucken, wicked, pissah, dood.  But before you know it, it’s part 
of how you talk, how I talk, fucken guy.  Dude.  When my ex
 
student saw me she said Sick a dozen times, amazed, delighted, meant
it’s super I’ve moved back, and, whoda thunk it, come in to her cafe.  
She checked out Josey, my instant street cred.  Josey bought new pants 
for work with a cell phone pocket; the cell phone pocket pants 
are Husky Boys’ Dickies, which I can’t get enough of, laugh every time 
 
I think of them, or try to name them out loud.  Josey wears 
Husky Boys’ Dickies.  My darling, my husky, my husky little boy.  
Hey, Husky, we say, around the house, just waking up, just bumping 
into each other en route from basement to garden to kitchen.  Hey, 
Husky, do you want coffee?  Hey Husky, Hey Bunny, Hey Hon.  
 
When I’m helping my students translate Sappho’s Fragments 1 and 31, 
I get them to make a list of many-colored things, so they don’t feel stuck 
with colorful throne.  One girl can’t think of anything but Skittles. Terrific, I tell her, 
you’re breaking product placement ground. Then I ask them to think of voices 
they love, the voice of someone they love.  It’s hard to describe a voice, but 
 
I ask them each to try, put his or her beloved in the place of Sappho’s, make her 
theirs, more real than just sweet-voiced and lovely-laughtered. You have
three minutes.  Get something down, I tell them, some adjective or comparison, 
even if you just write the same word over and over again. 5:47 p.m on a Wednesday, 
me saying Do your best and You could just say husky husky husky husky husky.

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