Jeannine Hall Gailey
TO A SELF-PROCLAIMED MANIC DEPRESSIVE EX-STRIPPER
POET, AFTER A READING
Remember: you are a blank page
no amount of shopping can cure.
One night you go out in tassels
and the next like a nun, but we still
love you. Can’t hold your liquor?
Never mind. Little angel, little bombthrower—
where would our malls
be without you? And the readings
you give in your corset are always good
for a crowd. I didn’t stop to give you
any advice. Get moving, screams Self
Magazine, or get medicated. Stay in the sun.
One more roast beef sandwich to watch you
wear yourself out for the muse. In the mirror,
you continue to shrink and I tell you—
eat this piece of cherry pie. It’s laced with cinnamon,
and maybe lithium. Also, write, but remember
writing will not be the death of you, or the life.
Keep watching the skies. Or skis. Sign a happy tune.
If this world doesn’t know the magic they behold,
create it for them. Remember to paint over the lines.
Forget your high heels and dance, Cinderella, dance.
—from Rattle #24, Winter 2005