BreadEileen R. Tabios
1. Of course you’d have money for a suite with French furniture fake but not embarrassing, the lily prints framed against walls bland but not offensive, the King-sized bed encased in gold cloth but not repelling like sateen, a foyer tiny but marbled with interesting veins, an ice bucket with a monograph– this is as good as it gets for hotel rooms meant for an afternoon tryst You’re the one who knows better than to cuddle afterwards Five minutes afterwards, your face is as bland as the wallpaper to hide your impatience as, your pale palm chilling my bare elbow, you guide me to the door. I marveled at your courteous mask so much I forgot you are not the poet on a deadline I almost missed for three twenty-dollar-bills 2. I would have refunded your tax-free money if you’d cuddled afterwards because of larger things at stake when birthing a poem In this alternative scenario this poem would have been about lilies– how some look like neophyte nuns, how others mimic the carved folds ending the skirts of Virgin Marys, how Georgia O’Keefe never succeeded in painting them as abstract vaginas (vaginas can never be abstract), how their scent evokes the type of decay lurking in candle-soaked shrines measuring the dusk permeating marble churches how the red pistil rising from waxy white petals always look profane and magnificently divine.
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