It's just poetry, it won't bite

Going Down the Road Feeling Bad


02.04.20 Posted in today's words by

Betsy Martin’s most recent poem to appear here was “My Greatest Ambition” (July 2019).

Going Down the Road Feeling Bad
By Betsy Martin

It’s my sophomore year and the guys next door
have a band, always singing and playing
badly,
Going down the road feeling bad,
their would-be hit.

My heels beat a resonant song on the worn
dining hall floor.
I relish the Boston cream pie
with refrains of watery coffee.

In my ID photo, a face, pale,
like driftwood.
Eyes shut.

My roommate says, No worries,
your bone structure is good.
We go to the perfume store, spritz on
one hundred scents, pick French ones.
She says they’re best.

I hang out with an older guy,
a dropout drawn to my dreaminess
and my way of making faces while I walk.

The Grail shimmers in his eyes,
as he materializes from some brighter quest
on Mass. Ave. and fades back to it.

He wears a pair of women’s panties on his head
as a cap,
his black curls poking through the leg holes
like rakish ears.

Mostly I wander alone
at my desk, watching
the maple out the window
transfigure
itself.



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