Stripy Socks

I’m not the one you go home with tonight
That falls to some cursed Romeo I decided to hate the moment he walked through the front gate
With his dark brow a promontory and deep sotto intonations
Of “isn’t this” and “isn’t that” oh-so-amazing
And his time studying commedia dell’arte in Rome
Fuck him, sincerely, and the pretense he rode in on
(I wish him falling pianos and elephants from the sky)

No. We, we made brief conversation in the sitting room
You and I
I was pleasant enough
Made you smile against your better judgment,
while you scanned the room looking for more suitable company

But I can tell the socks you were wearing
When you slipped off your shoes and crossed your feet to talk to me
I can relate the way your shirt fell off one shoulder
How that line matches exactly the curve in the Arc de Triomphe
Like the round of your cheek and the hollow beneath your eyes
(From general lack of sleep which you tried to cover up)
Universal blue print of desire specific to young girls and very pretty ladies
You borrowed that dress and it didn’t fit you specifically
And decided on something that showed your stripy knee highs to good effect
Presuming to be cute enough to play off the discomfort that comes with all eyes on you

I drove home alone, half-drunk to my stuffy little apartment
Artifacts of art and artifice littering the broad kitchen table like so many ticking clockworks

I remembered the dark stains on the edge of your toes from the black of your maryjanes
And the cut of the line of the floom in your upper lip
The demure way you kept your eyes distant
And the smell of Chanel #5 mixed with body heat and desire

I wonder if Mr. Sotto Voice knows these things
If he paid attention
Or is too spoiled in getting his way to care

In the dim of the hall light
I turn these little pieces over in my mind
A little simulacrum like a doll
Till I’m too weary to remember proportions
And sleep has her way, as she usually does

Sigh from the breeze at the aperture of my bedroom window fills my room
with a frigid portent of early fall
And I fall against the bosom of another yet another night bereft of fragrant destiny

(I keep my pieces with me
I promise he gives them away)


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