You can dream of the ’30s
but it’s the era of darkness
blood ox plaid and baby shit gingham.
It might be better to destroy
than create
red paint on the ax
at the construction site
and I missed the leaves peak
but I still walk the creek
valiant valentine dressed as a clown.

We agreed at the beginning
the hillside where the near-witch
followed the man reading the paper
by the river looked like home
her fine lines at 39
bright lipstick and all those sea-printed caftans.

I miss my pink bike topographically.
I don’t understand time stripes or spaces
the mud-colored orange-wheeled rollerskates
the rink that looked like a basement
and how many more months of right ovary pain?

The near-witch tells her husband
to go suck an egg
but the statement's been issued.
I’ve spent too much on bat wings
and calico-assed bellbottoms

and I’m sorry for the things I’ve done
I’ve shamed my life with lies
but someday I’ll get back to it
my high-heeled suede boots city-prim.
I’ll slip right on your banana peel.

Note: The title and some language of this poem is from the Neil Young song, “Running Dry (Requiem for the Rockets)”.

Poet’s Note

My poetry is feminist, probing the connections among sex, power, and violence—frequently explored through the broken promise of Hollywood’s “golden age” and its shadow side film noir—while examining, challenging, and sometimes reappropriating patriarchal culture’s complex relationship with powerful women, especially when those women are too beautiful yet never beautiful enough.