We Need to Talk
It’s not that I don’t love you,
or that I’m incapable of loving.
I don’t know how to love only you.
Listen: I love you today
& also Bradley, the bus boy from the Bourbon Orleans Hotel Bar,
who, when he collected my half-eaten oyster po’boy, smirked at me
like I was crawfish he’d love to clean out.
& yesterday I loved Jason,
the Swiss yoga instructor at LA Fitness,
whose voice lilts like a harp from the front of the room--
& I know you know that a voice is a jet on which I fly
First Class into the arms of desire, but, honey,
know I loved you deeply yesterday, too.
I do wish love were simpler.
Like the birds & the bees.
I know very little about how birds love.
But I know bees have fucked the roses into cliché.
You are cliché.
Or if you’re not, you will be.
Darling, what man wouldn’t I love to be a flower?
I struck a deal with Beauty & Beauty gave me Maybelline lip-liner in Silence & Slow Time.
In my mirror, I am bright mouthed & inanimate. Call me Collagen-‘Till-I’m-Marble,
Beauty is a silk
sheath. Beauty zips me into
Beauty. “Beauty masks
made of turmeric & Time should be applied to your T-zone weekly,” shrieks Beauty.
Beauty is delusion, delusion, Beauty, Beauty, Beauty.
Beauty praises Cover Girl LashBlast Waterproof Mascara.
Here Beauty comes, in from the rain.
I will not write: O! Voices of the ever-living
tongue of earth, rejoice! I write the dead down
the way the ground wrote them down:
using the roots of many flowers.
KATIE CONDON has received fellowships from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference and Inprint. Her recent poems appear in or are forthcoming from Indiana Review, New Ohio Review, H_NGM_N, and other journals, as well as the anthology Hallelujah for 50ft Women (Bloodaxe Books, 2015). Katie is a PhD candidate in Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Tennessee, and received her MFA from the University of Houston where she is finishing her tenure as a Poetry Editor for Gulf Coast.
READ AND LISTEN
Issue 8 Playlist