She transmits a nicotine fix
through a prewar phonebooth,
tattoo of a Baphomet stumbling
down the length of her thigh.
And there’s me, looking
like a dyspepsic dragonfly
stuffed in a Kid Cudi jacket
staking my claim on a racket
of axle grease. “If only
the totems could have clung
to their names, then maybe we
wouldn’t be limping with fleece
strangling our legs,”
she heaves a sigh,
“But that’s fucking New York for ya.”
I exhale a plume of gold, nod
in agreement, and add, “To be
as bold as we.” She lethargically
stares at a distant marquee
emboldening the darkness
with flickering promises, and I sense
her sadness like a tableau of barbed wire.
Beauty is an uphill battle,
I know this, and the harder you strive,
the easier it gives you the slip.
I hate to see her so sullen, though,
especially because she’s touched
Beauty in ways that I never could
and what’s worse,
she doesn’t even realize it.

-r. miller


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