Beloit College Magazine

Beloit College Magazine

Spring 2013 (March 14, 2013)

Troy Unincorporated

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March 14, 2013

Troy Unincorporated 


Already I miss Troy

in the summer.

My body propped

on the raft at Booth Lake,

feet stirring the weeds.


Population: a man

pulling a child’s wagon

into the soyfield.

Seven hundred and twenty-six

red-winged blackbirds.

Two balloons tied to a stop sign

over a cardboard arrow

pointing down some dust snake

of a road.


In the summer

I wear my tube top

and Troilus takes me

to the drag races.


We sat late on the hot hood

of his car, his finger writing “wheel”

on my knee and

believe me, believe me

said the floodlights.


On the way home,

a bloodied boy pissing

on his downed opponent’s feet.


Pandarus in the back seat

telling stories.

Hey, remember when
Cassandra … etc., etc.

Old Pandarus.

Old word-scuttler.


Unseasonable, unreasonable,

my dad says of the heat.

I steady him in the walker

so he can hold a wrist under the tap,


the wet plate in the sink

a crumb-grained mirror

of the curtain’s dumb in and out,


its lace-patterned border, even:

Horse, church, dog, man.

Horse, church, dog, man.


—Francesca Abbate’90

Francesca Abbate’90 is an associate professor of English at Beloit College. Her collection of lyric monologues titled
Troy Unincorporated reimagines the characters from Chaucer’s tragedy Troilus and Criseyde in the context of a contemporary south-central Wisconsin town.

“CRISEYDE” is excerpted with permission from Troy, Unincorporated, published by The University of Chicago Press. © 2012 by The University of Chicago. All rights reserved.

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