A Postindustrial Romance
…we live in a society that is both competitive and in which we are incessantly evaluated (school, university, performance as writer, poet or businessman or sportsman). The only place where you hope to stop that evaluation is in love.
Donna married my paycheck
on an unseasonably warm autumn day.
Bridesmaids in antebellum gowns fanned themselves
and congratulated her on her good catch.
I still have the postcard she sent
from their honeymoon in New Zealand.
I wanted them to be happy.
Even when pricing helium futures
at the zeppelin factory,
I’d set down my slide rule
and imagine her moaning with pleasure,
my paycheck between her thighs.
When the downsizing began,
she sat at my paycheck’s bedside
holding its hand telling it not to give up.
At the funeral pallbearers had to restrain her.
In her grief she began to live for her job
staying at the office long after dark
and subsisting on frozen dinners.
To console her I explained that in today’s economy
love depends on the trade balance with China
as well as myriad decisions by executives
in large corporations. Now she’s dating again.
If you’re interested, forward your resume
along with a copy of your tax return.
Monica Wanted to Be 2-D
She was okay as a centerfold.
Then she put on blue eye shadow and heels,
became a Cosmo cover.
I wanted to wrap her around books
art, philosophy, anything to add depth
but she became a crayon drawing
of a house and baby
I folded her into a paper airplane
and launched her into the sky.
She fluttered back as a credit card bill.
I took up origami
practiced cranes, butterflies, and elephants.
She countered with liquor ads and romance novels.
I thought a Mobius strip would satisfy both of us
but her feminist language critique cut my tongue
when I licked its adhesive edges.
Finally, she became a page from The Rules,
slipped under my door,
pursued by the wind.
Host of the Gelato Poetry Series, instigator of the San Diego Poetry Un-Slam, and an editor of the San Diego Poetry Annual, Jon Wesick has published nearly three hundred poems in journals such as the Atlanta Review, Pearl, and Slipstream. He has also published over seventy short stories. Jon has a Ph.D. in physics and is a longtime student of Buddhism and the martial arts. One of his poems won second place in the 2007 African American Writers and Artists contest.
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