Can’t Rain All the Time

Mood: Persistently Wobbly
Drinking: Diet 7Up

Do dark clouds need a reason to descend? Do they require flames or wind? Do they have their own secret almanac, their own private entrance? Do they listen to a mad-hatted psychic who tells them that now would be a fortuitous time to bring the rain down on me?

I’ll never know.

But I am far too heavy for my little world. Not just today, but for the past several. I cannot point a finger and make it land on a rational excuse. I am just here, and glowering.

Yesterday on the street, a strange man walking toward me bent and said, “Very beautiful woman.”

And I said, “That’s easy to say when you don’t really know me.”

But he cheered me up, anyway. Yes, I am that superficial.

Then I wandered on home and watched Howl’s Moving Castle. And when Howl bursts into tears because his hair is all the wrong color and throws a mighty wizardly tantrum (complete with oozing green goo) because he no longer feels beautiful, I allowed myself three minutes of self-righteous hypocrisy.

“Stupid ass.” I thought. “Blubbering because he thinks his hair looks stupid. What a pussy!”

Meanwhile, bombs are heedlessly obliterating Beirut and I am a silly American girl, letting the mirror dictate my day. Who’s the ass now?

Boy said he’s worried because I’ve been sad for weeks.

But the clouds are familiar, and I’m not afraid. I’ve been happy for so long now. A little rain never hurt anything.

Right?

-Lo, who has drawn maps of the doldrums.

Object

Mood: Restless
Drinking: Not at the moment

Object

secretly,
i want the men
to look at me.
women, too.
but i don’t want to know
when they’re looking.
just tell me when it’s over.

i sneak peeks
at myself
on the sly.
in mirrors,
in windows,
in spoons, even.
i want to see what they see.
myself from the outside.

do i seem tall?
small?
or do they glance over once
and think nothing at all.

are they looking at eyes?
breast size?
or do i remind them of someone
they physically despise.

i wait sometimes
poised on a streetlight corner
hoping for a telepathic driveby.
all my receptors are open.
my eavesdroppers are standing by.
i’ve cranked the volume
to deafening decibels
but i still can’t hear
what they think of me.

at home again,
i let the mirror do her worst.
armed with calipers
and red wax pencil,
i calculate the errors
unflinchingly:
-10 for celluloid thighs
-5 for accusing eyes
+2 for well-designed brows
-6 for an ass that goes “pow!”

i put that high school algebra
to real life use (for once)
and figure in the x-factor.
(where x=the understanding
that objects in the mirror
may be more fucked-up than they appear.)

-9 for unclaimed emotional baggage
-6 for obscure childhood trauma

i take the numbers out for a run.
we work up a sweat
and settle the score.
(it turns out to be a round,
rather voluptuous number.)

but still i cannot get the angle right.
distracted by some trick of light, i
look away from the mirror. and
that’s when it happens.

when my best face is finally forward,
there is no reflection.

-Lo, who thinks vampires take self-portraits to doublecheck their hairdos.

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