Art: Breakfast At Tiffany’s
Twelve men I met on the internet
what’s the bravest thing you’ve ever done for the idea of romance?
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
that look: like he wants to lap the desperation from my stomach.
sad, he says, but beautiful —
is too much like my father.
is nothing like my father.
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.
says women have an expiration date,
like spoiling milk,
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,
on my fifth drink wine-stained I begin quoting Barthes:
about the emptiness I produce in myself;
how I am the one who waits.
I don’t speak in winter. I watch. I wait.
too often, sleeping with someone finishes them for me:
I remove them from my head,
says, I’m sorry, but you were too sad in real life.
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
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.