by Nina Szarka


In my kitchen you
Picked up my favorite things, the floral patterned China
The gold-rimmed cups
The pieces of lace, you
Put them in your pockets, and said
What treasures they were,
That my fastidiously styled cocoon was
And later
I found them, all angles and shards
Where you had left them in the street
To be run down
By pairs of boots or animals or cars
And I cannot stop seeing myself through your eyes, now:
An albatross,
Painted and preening. These red lips. These blonde curls.
A paper doll, vapid.

I am pretty and redundant.
Like sea foam or sand castles,
Ashamed, apologies rising in my throat like bile
For the rings that adorn my fingers
And the sequined dress
And my belief in magic and simple pleasures
The coffee
My collection of bird bones and trinkets