Marta Kowalewska

Art: Breakfast At Tiffany’s


Twelve men I met on the internet

1.

what’s the bravest thing you’ve ever done for the idea of romance?

2.

says my skin looked darker in the photograph —
but doesn’t mind touching it. we’re here now,
aren’t we. says it reminds him of
long-life milk.

3.

that look: like he wants to lap the desperation from my stomach.
sad, he says, but beautiful — 

4.

is too much like my father. 

5.

is nothing like my father.

6.

no, I don’t go back very often. it’s a beautiful place,
but I don’t want to be turned into a museum.
see, I don’t speak in winter.
I watch the news.
I wait for the Lord.

7.

says women have an expiration date,
like spoiling milk,
rotting meat.

8.

on my third drink I am writing a post-mortem wish list:
people and places I would haunt —
think am I qualified for legacy like I am qualified
for a new price plan on my forever silent,
never-ringing phone.

9.

on my fifth drink wine-stained I begin quoting Barthes:
about the emptiness I produce in myself;
how I am the one who waits.

10.

I don’t speak in winter. I watch. I wait. 

11.

too often, sleeping with someone finishes them for me:
I remove them from my head,
my mouth.

12.

says, I’m sorry, but you were too sad in real life.

 

 

Deleted Scenes

he’s smoking a cigarette on the corner of
Packard and Carmona    you think
it’s a Camel Blue    but don’t want to appear nostalgic
thinking of the months you smoked Camel Blues
because they reminded you of him    your mouth
always dry    it appears nostalgic
when you ask him for a cigarette    when your mouth
is dry like this desert    you walk through
with purpose

***

before you walked you drove    the days spent
in his car    one hand on the wheel one hand
in your hair    I hate America you’d say    and he’d
pull and pull and —

***

his mother is drunk outside a Los Angeles hotel
his stepfather too    you are
unprecedentedly sober    unprecedentedly un-anxious
as his stepfather puts his hand on your leg
and says you look like Audrey Hepburn    so small
he says    let me buy you a steak    fill you out    the best
in Los Angeles    still bloody

***

he met your mother once    you had dinner together
the three of you    meatless    laughing    he made her laugh
until there were tears in her eyes

***

you inspect your nicotine fingernails and he
inspects with you    he likes that you don’t wear rings
tells you how many his girlfriend wears
on each hand    how it is annoying
when it comes to hand jobs    later
he’ll show you a naked picture of her
he says   like he is telling a joke    he isn’t
he’ll show you    for you to go home
to think of while masturbating

***

you lost your virginity to him at sixteen
he pulled and pulled and —    you remember it
as atop a mountain    nicotine fingernail moon
overlooking the bay    realistically
it was a Bay Area parking lot    too late at night
to be unloved

***

remember that parking lot    he laughs
no it was a mountain    he laughs    baby you’ve always
romanticized everything    still calling you
baby    Audrey    let me buy you that steak

***

all his girlfriends have had the same birthday
as you    the one before answered the phone
when you called    it was too late at night
to be unloved    your boyfriend
hit you   stop calling
baby you need to stop calling

***

well Audrey how is it    how
is it    you are unprecedentedly un-anxious
you want to say    but remain quiet
with all that blood running out your mouth

 


Marta Kowalewska was born in 1991, in Poland, by the widest part of the Vistula. She’s been living, studying and working in London for the past seven years.

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