The face I’m seeing in the bar’s back mirror
looks tired and just my age, I hate to say,
as if I need a sign that’s any clearer
I been on the floor lookin’ for a chair
to get more sleep and drink much less ouzo.
The lecher breeze billows around my skirt,
wafts cigar ash and petals through windows
left standing open today for the first
authentic afternoon of spring this year.
If he can’t fix it, I don’t know who can
The cigar-smoking fellow sits, leans near
and asks my name, and if I come here often.
This time a year ago the cherries bloomed
and I was pregnant. Do I tell the truth?
I found this bar-test, took it. Here is me:
I eat alone: LOSER, score: twenty-five,
but same for PREPPY GIRL? I have an Iz-
od allergy! Peace man: a fifty, HIPPY.
A forty-four on GOTH, surprisingly
(like, I’m so old and glad to be alive
I just can’t hate the world). Seventy-five
in each: ATHLETIC TOMBOY and NERDY.
OK, but here’s the kicker: Is it true?
I’m cent pro cent SLUT and POPULAR BITCH.
That unexamined bitch—life—slips right by
unless you’re smart enough to learn to do
whatever you need to scratch your deepest itch
and leave your bad-girl signature behind.
I gave up buying COSMOPOLITAN,
the air-brushed cleavage, SEX TIPS FOR WILD GIRLS,
the articles on HOW TO ROCK HIS WORLD:
a budding feminist at twenty-one.
Last weekend, en route to our assignation,
I found one on my seat, its pages curled
with use, its sacred mysteries unfurled.
I read: DON’T DRINK IN HOTEL BARS ALONE.
So I’m to meet him in the hotel bar.
I grab a barstool, ask about the wine,
a sadly disappointing list. Meanwhile
the loosened-tie brigade of hungry sharks
encircles me, but O, Power Divine,
his hand along my spine: “She’s mine.” I smile.