Poor House

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Poor House

You climb the stairs with my suitcase.
You try to make it look easy.
Your Brooklyn apartment doesn’t have an elevator.
I watch you struggle, while I talk nervously.
It’s a very tense hike, up three floors.

Your house is like an Andy Warhol painting.
You ask if I want a drink. All you have is gin.
It’s 11am. I decline.
You say your house lacks feminine touch.
I think, silently, it lacks any type of touch.

I loved you, from the moment you swung open my cab door,
From the moment you asked permission to kiss me.
I hid my face from you, with a veil of shyness.
You never let me live it down.
How it all comes back to me.

We eat our first meal at Diner.
Funny, I think it was also our last meal – our Passover.
We were poor back then, before the condo on Wall.
When we thought art was for heart, and not a means.
We would sit on the floor, watching horror films stoned.
Making love till 4am and you’d say there was a ghost.
I called it deathly voyeurism.
You thought I was too smart.

Now I sit, in my expensive clothes, and
Surrounded by all the expensive gifts – still in boxes.
Penance for your indiscretion.
A ring for a blowjob, perfume for a kiss. It was all relative.
How I loved the old swimmer boy, with acne.
How I wish he drowned, so I could mourn him.
Mourn him on a seat at Balthazar’s eating Steak Frite.

Rebecca Machalek

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