Bar Napkin Sonnet #7


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? 



Bar Napkin Sonnet #9


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


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.

Bar Napkin Sonnet #20


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.


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.