Conceited boy, even here, in the angels’ waiting
room, where the dead win all the beauty
contests by default, you arrived with the sun
behind you, working your counterfeit halo,
true as a tin star. It’s a fine effect. But today,
for once, you take second to the ugly
jailbreak of azaleas rioting behind us, where
I kiss you again and we linger on the bench
of a long-gone husband’s plot. Though,
if you are what I think you are, with terrible
friends in sublime places, explain to me your
cold kind of heart, unmoved by the inappropriate.
Teach me to survive you. Tell me, what kind
won’t choose these awful flowers? Who
refuses this bleating, urgent pink?
Copyright © 2006 Erin Belieu
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc.
on behalf of Copper Canyon Press.