Ghazal for the Weekend in Cleveland
What if we were honest all the time? Sure, we've asked this hypothetical before.
What if we tried? Ask me what I want. I'll examine your pupil and say: you.
There is a running tape in my head: a pep talk, all day, every day. Keep! Being ! Vulnerable!
There is a skirt waving pom-poms in my eye's corner. No, it's just dust in my hair.
Let's experiment with starving: east soup for breakfast, then nothing for lunch. Gin for dinner.
Let's be the exception. I'll wear my hair in pigtails, you'll dye yours red. Forget the rules.
Normal! Normal! Normal! I chant to myself, a cheer to match the pep talk. Stomp with me.
Normal! The empty bleachers boomerang my voice, normals clanging against plain metal.
Who is leaving who? Or is it whom? You're not so sure of grammar, just decisions.
Hoo, hoo, the owl murmurs through the peephole, as you let yourself out the hotel door.
Afternoon: meet me at Sunshine Headquarters. I'll buy the shortest dress, you, the thinnest tie.
Noon's heat: let's forget this place, 54th and Bloom, & duck into a shadowed alley.
Spend all night at the Wine Cave— I'll black out while you sip club soda, bubbling.
Spend all your money & the morning trying to sober me up: coffee, cold showers, cake.
Through the curtain of water, I try to see if you're naked or clothed. The slick porcelain—
through the holes in its whiteness, I breathe my mantra & reach for your hips.
Before I can leave you, you'll sneak out in night's middle. I can tell from a week away.
Before you can leave me, I'll pedal away on my bike, my hair swirling up, blocking my vision.