Ghazal For the Men Commenting “Gorgeous” On My Photos
Some words are not good words, like moist or panties. I forgot gorgeous
clicks my burner right up to high, a kettle calling the pot gorgeous.
If I showed you a picture of my first-loved house, wallpaper licked clean
off after fire, after fire, after after, would you call the shot gorgeous?
I know! I knowww. I’m tedious but I’m also Butterface. Butterface.
Butterface. Butterface. Butterface. But your tits are hot, Gorgeous.
There are men I want to want me, abstract flames. There are men
who smell like men I knew before I was angry, before I got gorgeous.
I wanna be wanted from afar, specifically. Stand at canyon’s lip
and fill me with your pitiful echoes. This is how you court gorges.
You can call me anything; brave or good, kind or Catherine. Call me
awful taunting names. Fat bitch. Fat ugly bitch. I’m not gorgeous.
i can guess what instrument you played in middle school band
but what i mean is did anybody ever call you a dyke during inside recess
when the rain fell too thick to spill us outside like a split bag of sugar
so instead we played hangman on the whiteboard & made cruel games
of MASH & called me a dyke in our most indoor of voices & how was it that
october wrapped oak roots around our ankles & we looked ahead to all
that might come of a sleepover that didn’t & of the book fair that did
& once someone wore a toga to the dance & how everyone laughed
because courage looks funny before you’ve ever really had to be brave
& i feel like i knew you then even though i didn’t & i bet you wanted to
play the saxophone but got told the clarinet was easier & now you don’t play
anything except spotify & saxophone regret sits briefly on your tongue
like a dry reed but then melts as sweetly as lines chalked before a storm
Catherine Weiss is a poet, artist, and organizer based in Western Massachusetts. Their work has been published in Tinderbox, Up the Staircase Quarterly, Counterclock, Noble/Gas Quarterly, and elsewhere. WEB