End of Side A

By Adrian Matejka Adrian Matejka
It ends because the beginning won’t jumpstart
again: red smudge of a mouth, lipstick everywhere

the afterthought a comet leaves on its way
out. What makes this moment unfold like a fine

woman raising herself up from the bathroom floor?
Honky-tonk in the honeyed brown of an eyeball?

Perfume & its circus of heart-shaped introductions?
It ends because the needle always winds up in

the lead-out, like a man pawing around for broken
spectacles after he wakes in the world’s rubble.

Hand over hand he paws, through stilted guitar
picks & abandoned stilettos, raised skirts & rocks,

glasses as chipped & smudged as the topography
of a skipping record. He could be Albright

himself, foraging the still-life swish of low-rise
tutus & skyscrapers cracked in the twisted

aftermath of a smile. Even without glasses,
he remembers her in high style: magnanimously

coming down the blue & violet threads of night,
her green dress clashing with the bathroom tile.

Source: Poetry (July/August 2012).

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This poem originally appeared in the July/August 2012 issue of Poetry magazine

July/August 2012
 Adrian  Matejka

Biography

Poet Adrian Matejka was born in Nuremberg, Germany, and grew up in California and Indiana. He earned his BA from Indiana University and his MFA from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale. He is the author of the poetry collections The Devil’s Garden (2003), which won a New York/New England Award from Alice James Books; Mixology (2009), a National Poetry Series selection and nominee for an NAACP Image Award; and The Big Smoke . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Love, Break-ups & Vexed Love, Relationships, Men & Women

POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

Poetic Terms Couplet

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