14k Realization

By Haley Walsh

I like golden light because it’s the only gold I’ll ever own.
You’re not supposed to be so emotionally attached to red brick
And you asked him to meet you in the center of the city
But he thought you said “settee” so he sat around all night
Probably crying or summat.

I heard you’re in the trenches.
Maybe you finally figured out the waltz
And maybe those parking lot cigarettes seem dream worthy now.
Meet me at the old back door.
Bring coffee.
Bring me something broken,
And maybe a half hour

It’s all karaoke operas
Sipping flasks of champagne
Talking about Paris
And Mount Greenwood
And pulling back arrows
That point to the exit.

“I hate those lace curtains, they always get caught up in the vacuum.”
A fan of the impractical and wearing silk robes;
And saying thing like “Maybe you should just fuck off;”
And coughing up foreign dust;
And brushing my teeth with lipstick on;
And taking shots of espresso before, and after,
And crying real soft so no one can hear.
He talks like he has a mouth full of molasses
And I pretend I am successfully occupying both extremes:
(Back alley ballets and the like)
(Or smeared mascara wiped on an embroidered handkerchief and such.)

I like it best when we talk about the war.
I like it best when Lake Shore Drive is empty.
I like it best when you don’t ask me so many questions.
I like it best when you tell me I look like I smoke those real long cigarettes
And that I killed my rich ex-husband.
I like it best when you don’t know me,
And romanticize me
And dehumanize me
And don’t see the urchin in me
Laughing heavy at something real dark
In the morning dew of the neighbor’s yard
To keep from dying.

I like it best when you learned to hate me.

When you told me I was probably a queen in a past life
But not a very good one.
I prefer to write poetry about myself
Because you’re quite boring,
And the past is quite suffocating,
And father’s quite sick,
And the man I love is quite far away,
But I can handle the impractical toil
Of my lipstick revolution.