Sunday, March 8, 2020

Mug Shot

If I’d had a lover he would not remain. 
Queasily quickly, he’d crash in my brain, 
and leave my unusable body behind.
How abashed I become when I find
myself so un-atoned-for – undeboned
and undrained, maligned and disowned,
retaining what’s left like a hat on my head,
papered with love notes, handwritten and dead.
Still I am beautiful in some odd ways.
All my indolent insolences are arrays
of a neophyte painter’s attempts at self-portraits,
fatigue in the Art Students League: now a fortress

of family stories I have second-hand:
my father and mother met there, made a stand
to live out their fragilities into the night
of their lives, into which I arrived, a sight

to behold which no one beheld, at any rate
not in the manner to which I’d thought Fate
would supply. Even my name is awry:
A cypher, a stooge, an irregular regular Guy.

The problem, a small one: imagining “I”
has much business with “me.” They fly
in the face of whatever has labeled them.
Notes I have written on Guy? I’ve tabled them.

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