She’ll never use the word adagio.
A wreck of self, of nervy tics and torque,
she spends her tenure at the fireworks show
not thinking cherry blossom, jellyfish
but grass gives me a butt rash and I wish
I hadn’t had that second plate of pork.
She’s grown untenable. Her looks concede
the sure discomfiture of Wonder Bras
and pews. She’s hooked on things she doesn’t need.
By now, the wash-that-man-right-out shampoo
has done a number on her luster too;
what started as a classic case of blahs
spread to her blood. Her gut’s a boiler room.
She’s sleeping less. She flirts with vertigo,
excusing truths: that she’s been groomed for gloom;
that, lecherous for what she can’t possess,
she’s left with fantasies—like faith, a yes
she conjures while her doubt is groping no.
Caki Wilkinson is the author of the poetry collection Circles Where the Head Should Be (UNT Press, 2011), which won the 2010 Vassar Miller Prize. Her second collection won the Lexi Rudnitsky/Editor’s Choice Award and is forthcoming from Persea Books in 2014.