Holiday 2014 - THE POTOMAC

Two Poems

   Jennifer Lagier

Looking for Mr. Goodtime

After midnight in a Barbary Coast bar,
Camille sees herself reflected between tiers
of vodka bottles, whiskey, tequila.
A biker in black leather
bumps her stool, creating weird vibes.
His history is inked on brawny arms,
a still–oozing wound on the side of his head.
Camille's own roadmap is less visible
but he intuits the general itinerary,
slides beside her, orders Jack Daniels neat.
Hey babe, he drawls, you look like a girl
who could use some company.
With one finger, he traces spider-web scars
crisscrossing the underside of her wrists.
They are castaways, seek the same alcoholic oasis,
another inevitable car crash affair.
Now his hand caresses her thigh.
Go ahead, spin the chambers; tug the fucking trigger.
He pulls her closer, signals the bartender.
Honey, let me buy you a drink.



At thirty, my husband
demanded I look and act
as if I was sixteen.
It was like forcing my foot
into a shoe three sizes too small,
cramming myself into a life
that no longer fit.

When we separated,
guilt made me report for duty
in response to his
once a week call.
He'd leave fifty dollars
on the night stand
next to his bed,
tell me I'd be
so much happier,
probably still married,
if I just didn't think.

After, I would
pump iron for hours,
run seven cross country miles,
shower, scrub myself raw.
I pared away softness,
built muscles,
became invulnerable,
made myself hard.

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