Konch Magazine - Dirty Life by Valerie Deus

Dirty Life by Anonymous

Renee walks in late 
She is quietly a cat smiling 
like those burnt orange cats in children stories. 
Their guilty wide lips look like satisfaction but
Christy keeps calling and she’s late, not here on the Bowery 
where I am with my dirty life on ice.

Still and tight caught just right below the surface  
something feminine, fair and flowery 
something that will make them proud with parental love. 
Their eyes will say Look! Behold our daughter! Her wide hips! 
I will stand silently and smile with lowered eyes as my parts are sold separately. 
My father will start the bidding at 4 cows and 2 chickens. “Do I hear
5 cows and 3 chickens?” he’ll call  
My uncle Eddie is missing his big toe and I wonder how he stands at all. 
But someone in the crowd will say, “I saw her reading books” and my value will
quickly decrease. The crowd will carefully disperse.

But until then I’m here on the Bowery where poems live in my body.
Next to my drink there’s a salad, but the guy next to me is cute
and I don’t want to offend him. I’ve seen him before
either at the Bowery Poetry Club or St Mark’s Poetry Project where the poems live in my head.

My hair makes a scary shadow on the man ahead of me, like electric tattoos on his head.
And in this moment all I want is Christy to be here not in a cab or the subway or on her way but here on the Bowery, in the club, at the bar, slipping on my dirty life.