Poetry

Baby, You’re So Cool

You’re so cool!
You’re just so damn cool!

Tongue between your teeth,
eyes squinted, jaw raised, hand on your hip,
other arm squeezing the waist of some
carefully disheveled, leather-jacket-wearing,
ostentatiously left-wing artist.
The flash goes off;
I’m blinded, you’re not phased,
and you move easily into your next pose,
tossing your shining sheet of hair behind your shoulder
as if in slow motion.

The man on your arm
gazes into the camera lens like
he’s found some long-lost treasure;
he’s going home tonight to write
deep, insightful, poignant poetry
about your ‘haunting’ eyes.
You’re a movie, you’re a painting,
you’re a goddamn masterpiece!
And everybody knows it.

You’re the life and soul of this place;
laughing when it counts,
dancing like you don’t care,
never self-conscious, always smiling,
effortlessly glamorous,
you’ve got everyone here
in the palm of your hand.
You’re so fucking cool,
and you’ll never let your guard down.

You’re so cool, baby,
don’t ruin it now, don’t let them see,
don’t let them know.
Keep up that charming giggle while he’s
planting sweaty kisses on your cheek,
keep batting your eyelashes while he talks, like,
he’s just so interesting you can’t help it,
keep on stroking his ego, baby,
that way he’ll never question,
he’ll never have a clue.

Later we’re alone,
sitting on the sink and you’re
smoking a cigarette,
fixing your make up,
pulling up your tights.
It’s not cool to cry but, baby,
you’re welling up,
you’re shaking and cold,
and when your mouth is on mine
I can feel the tears in your saliva,
and our teeth collide
and our noses bump
and your hair beneath my hands
is tangled in knots.

Then you splash water on your face
and cover the bags under your eyes
and you’re cool again, you’re so damn cool,
off to inspire the bearded boys with
journals in their messenger bags.
You’re going to help them do great things,
honey: that soft focus, close up shot
of you, asleep in his bed, is the gem
of his Instagram page, I swear.

I wish he knew how angry you are.
How lost, how sad, how confused,
and violently so.
I wish he knew how you snort when you laugh.
It’s not cool, baby, but at least
it’s honest.

I’m looking at you across the room,
thinking about your callous fingers,
your roughened lips, your anguished moans,
your heartbreaking sighs.
But at least here,
under these fluorescent white lights,
you’re cool.

Even when you can’t quite laugh
at some pretentious joke,
and you can’t bring yourself to
make eye contact with me,
you’re cool.

You’re so goddamn cool.

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