- Love Letter to Irresponsibility
Find me stowed away on your tour bus,your glossy photo crumpled in my hand,
my eyeliner smearedinto an autograph of shame.
Your name is a guitar pick in my throat,and I can’t stop crying for you.
(You wouldn’t love me if you saw mebowed low by the catastrophic litter box,
done in by the kitchen bulbs gaspingfor replacement.
You wouldn’t want meif you knew how I puzzled over
the contortions of clean laundry,the perfect diagonals of Wonder Bread.)
When you discover me here,wearing the leather jacket you left behind
and smoking your Marlboro Reds,listen to what I have to say:
I have all your records. I know the early stuff(the abandoned mittens, unmade beds) [End Page 446]
and your later work (a fifth can of Budweiser—why not?—let the children find their own way home from school)
and I play them every night in my head,cranked up to dangerous levels.
Let me travel with you for just one night,the empty road gyrating in the rearview mirror. [End Page 447]
becky hagenston’s poems have appeared in Poetry East. Her first collection of stories, A Gram of Mars, won Sarabande Books’ Mary McCarthy Prize. Her second collection, Strange Weather, won the Spokane Prize. Her fiction has appeared in Subtropics, Indiana Review, and Iron Horse Literary Review, as well as in the PEN/O. Henry Prize Stories. She is an associate professor of English at Mississippi State University.