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September 22, 2015 | Poetry

Two Poems

Jennifer D. Corley

Two Poems photo

SHOWBOATING LIARS

Jeff is driving me nuts. he's a fucking showboating liar. Walking around here like he owns the place. He only owns us. We stare at our computer screens and I wonder how many of us are doing work.

And the two people on the Budget rental car banner ad at the top of the page are taunting me. They have
taken a break from skiing. I can see through their oversized sunglasses, can see their eyes penetrating me,
their gleeful shit-eating grins as the reflection of snow makes their faces glow.
Their skis rest on their shoulders and their careless hair curls out from under their knit hats.
"Join us," they're whispering maniacally, yet it’s peaceful.
"Don't you wanna climb in this here Yukon and drive up this here mountain in this here snow?"
"Can't you just see the peaks behind us? Don't you just hate sitting behind a desk and listening to your
pathetic little aol radio (jesus why don’t you just pay for Pandora already) and having nobody laugh when
you make a joke?”
“ski,
ski-
ski…
your problems away."

And then their dialogue melts away and they’re speaking choppy phrases and words here and there, as I
look into their eyes, through the dark lenses:

snow-
hot choco-
yay!-
flurry-
boots-
it's a dry cold, that's what's nice-
firepla-
pizza/french fries-
gloves-
fuckin’ on a bear rug-

And I'm lost in that goddamn Budget banner ad.
I think it’s stuck.

 

HEADLESS

I stood on the balcony of our hotel room, darling, and looked across the street at the apartment bldg
which has nice rounded balconies and a fountain in the courtyard. There was
an apartment one floor down from where we are,
it had their balcony’s sliding glass door open.
a warm, dimly lit living room with putty-colored sofa and brown coffee table and cream colored cabinets
in the kitchen.
two thin but muscular guys in tight jeans and faded tees walked by the kitchen counter.
their heads were obscured by the view from one floor up.
one of them
carried a corkscrew. i guess he was putting it away.
i imagined them to be a happy gay couple who already
have good fulfilling jobs and lives.
hell, they have a clean apartment and
bottles of wine around and
can afford nice lighting.
one lounged on the sofa with what might have been malbec, picked up a book off the coffee table, and
began reading.
the other
went into an adjoining room and came out with shorts and a tank top on,
stretched, and sat next to him on the sofa.
still couldn't see their heads. (i wished we were in a room one floor lower)
this little bit of gay headless theatre made me very sad.
i'm not sure why-
other than the fact that they looked like they had things sorted
out. or they live in this place where I want to live and can only visit.
they live here AND they are doing well. they're not struggling. they're done with bullshit.

of course who knows. maybe the guy in the tank sat down and said "gary, i
think we should see other people."
only the neighbors with inverted glasses
to the walls know for sure.

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