Rookie (Chicago, Illinois)

Duende - Poem by MARINA GIPPS

There’s a black cumulus cloud over you, Elizabeth, a state of flux
re-organizing your papers, your life. The receipts of various monies
owed on cancelled credit cards, paid haughtily with blank checks
that blanched afternoon you drift away on a sailboat, busy for breakfast,
heavy text-books you long to sell. You can leave school, Elizabeth,
but how do you leave me? So now I’m lonely…

I beg you to stay, Elizabeth, nevermind we shared the same beaus.
Nor that we hinted whom might be the acclaimed bicycle rapist.
That was one epidemic year. How the hijackers of handle-bar baskets
would leer at our most scandalous shorts. We were never victimized.
We wore plaid shirts with Burberry parasols for our summer outings.
We were, oh so repulsive, no one trailing our Peugeot ten speeds.

At tea-time, I handed you a pomegranate which you coyly split in half.
A crimson heart bubbling over its pulp, its juicy seeds of undoing.
Consuming each of our halves together, we became whole, Elizabeth.
Speaking of how we’d flow through the underworld together as fearful virgins,
you watched me kiss your hand as you swabbed my torn finger with your tongue.
Both of us knowing this was as close as we’d ever get.

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Poem Submitted: Saturday, June 16, 2007

Poem Edited: Saturday, March 12, 2011

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