jolie laide

jolie laide

I started this when I lived in Brooklyn and struggled for grace in a city that grants moments of beauty and ugliness breathtakingly close to one another. Now I live in a place where things are a different kind of ugly and the beauty is pedestrian. I struggle with that.


That big boule of coffee with dinner and Stevie Ray Vaughan’s amphetamine fingers have me tick-tick-ticking this cab ride home. In my absence, someone referred to me as a bombshell. Retold, that makes me blush, until I realize a blinkered memory of black seamed stockings is probably all he had gotten away with. I look at my friend and she is beautiful to me and I realize that doesn’t translate so easily to others and for that I am sorry.

They have stopped water-curing the new concrete on the BQE so there is no more late-night waterfall over the high edge at the stoplights next to the projects. Pull over here, across from the pharmacy, where the man with the kufi leaves my tampons sitting straight out on the counter, and I am embarrassed for both of us. The recycling fairies have visited my house, and set out the cans for morning pick-up, what sweetness in that. I hope tonight to fall asleep with a handful of gut-shot postcards from those I hold dearest, run my thumb over tattered landscapes, smooth rills until they are calm, good night, darlings, all.


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