PERSONAL AD #1 (Pairs Only Matter In Poker) by Michael Schmeltzer

/ / Issue 2, Issue 3, Poetry

After C.D. Wright

I wear garish makeup and make faces in the mirror.
Which reminds me…do you want to hear
my favorite joke?
Two clowns walk into a bar:
one with a sad face, the makeup frown
thick and chalky as a hotdog bun; the other
no face whatsoever.
There never was a happy face.
Let me start over.
There are two expressions we carry like dumbbells
to balance ourselves in public.
People are often
two-faced and falling flat
on both of them. If you look carefully
I always lean to the left.
I love honesty
the way a lazy-eyed child loves playing pirate.
How far sunk do you think
a treasure must be
before we call it buried?
What about desires?
For reasons unknown I often find trouble.
My ex-lover phoned me
after an absence of six weeks, drunk and high on meth.
He always called it “Tina” or “Crystal”
as if a drug could wear jewels
or flaunt a slinky dress.
He added lime to his beer and dubbed it a cocktail.
Ever hear of heterochromia?
For a sucker like me it means exotic.
Plus, he was handsome. He had one
hazel and one blue eye.
They were both beautiful
but I never knew which color to trust.
My problem is whatsoever my right eye sees
my left ignores
so he got away with a lot.
His eyes glittered like Vegas
when all I needed was Branson.
By the end there was nothing left to gamble.
All I wanted then
was to slip a penny over each eye
and watch the world bury him.


Listen to Michael Schmeltzer’s reading below…


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