An empire of moss,
dead yellow, and carapace:
that was the season
of gnats, amyl nitrate, and goddamn
rain; of the gator in the fake lake rolling
his silverish eyes;
of vice; of Erotica,
give it up and let
me have my way. And the gin-soaked dread
that an acronym was festering inside.
Love was a doorknob
statement, a breakneck goodbye—
and the walk of shame
without shame, the hair disheveled, curl
of Kools, and desolate birds like ampersands...
I re-did my face
in the bar bathroom, above
the urinal trough.
I liked it rough. From behind the stall,
Lady Pearl slurred the words: Don’t hold out for love.
Source: Poetry (April 2010).
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This poem originally appeared in the April 2010 issue of Poetry magazine