All Those Hands We Never Met*

They told her she could tell her life story as a comic book. They vowed not to interfere. Page One, Frame One: Boyfriend kisses her when she doesn’t want to be kissed. Screen-printed on boyfriend’s shirt is a target. Page One, Frame Four: Boyfriend reacts to rejection, throws beer bottle through TV screen. Page Two, Frame Three: She invites him to bar, goes to bar, a neutral place to break up. Page Two, Frame Four: He hugs her too tightly.

In a few pages, they have taken over. We see her crying, swimming in a dark sea. Unable to bear living without him, she slips under the water. Even they can’t end it this way, so they offer a parallel reality, drop her off on a lonely road with only one suitcase. They lose interest in the final third, rely too much on incongruent frames: breaking glass, kabuki makeup, mystery man. They flash a life before your eyes, a life unfinished. They let her live so she may mourn all her lives let go by men.

*Title is a lyric from “Take the L” by The Motels (#52 on Billboard Hot 100, 1982).

Daniel M. Shapiro has attended a World Series Game 7, edited a lingerie catalog, and been called “gorgeous” by Burt Reynolds. His book of celebrity poems, How the Potato Chip Was Invented, was published by Sunnyoutside Press in 2013.

This entry was posted in Poetry and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.