It Was a Bichon Frisé's Life . . .

By Ange Mlinko Ange Mlinko
Louisiana skies paddle north nodding hello to some exiles
displaced by floodwaters so we all putter in the bisque
in fretted dresses, alleviated by a fan. But we have nothing on

"Le Matin," in whose rococo frame a curtain sweeps to bare
a boudoir, a Bichon Frisé worrying something between paws,
begging the dulcet glance of the mistress whose push-up,

cupless corset and up-drawn stocking border what they
fall short of, per the stern frame rippling like a cloud!
Even the candle angles to get a look in the mirror

engloving the scene. Why it is her slipper the bitch clutches!   
The gentleman's reverie is elsewhere . . . Loitering
Louisiana stops to admire this engraving by "N. Lavreinee."

What a chevalier! It makes the smeariest sunset think
it's in a Restoration Comedy, in such humidity
chefs defer meringues. "Ksar Rouge," "Taos Adobe,"

"Gulf Shrimp"—a thousand names of softboiled
lipsticks fritter English as if it were French, meaning
meeting no resistance from the flesh.

Source: Poetry (June 2008).


This poem originally appeared in the June 2008 issue of Poetry magazine

June 2008
 Ange  Mlinko


Ange Mlinko is the author of three books, Shoulder Season (Coffee House Press, 2010), Starred Wire (Coffee House Press, 2005), which was a National Poetry Series winner in 2004 and a finalist for the James Laughlin Award, and Matinees (Zoland Books, 1999). In 2009, she won the Randall Jarrell Award in Criticism. Mlinko was born in Philadelphia, and has worked in Brooklyn, Providence, Boston, and Morocco. She has taught poetry at . . .

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SUBJECT Relationships, Love, Pets, Desire

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