The slightly overweight Orthodox shaving fetishist
I went on a few dates with back in February
called from the airport last night to say he was
sorry but didn't think we were going to work.
I wished him a happy Passover
and thought of Halloween, age nine,
the day the plane
carrying my father's parents
plunged into the Atlantic
with such force
none of the bodies
were recovered intact.
The co-pilot's last words repeated coolly
nine times on the black box:
I rely on Allah.
I read that in The New York Times,
at nine, and knew it didn't matter
whose name I called out--God wouldn't answer
except with silence
or the ocean floor's creaking.
I tell my therapist
I'd rather be beautiful and sad
than ugly and happy, that I had
a panic attack on the ride here
because the woman in front me was so fat
I couldn't see around her and into the black
beyond the subway car windows. I'm not sure I believe
in my therapist either, but the thrill of determining
whether or not he wants to sleep with me
brings me back to his office each week.
Besides--beauty is a flimsy idol,
and when it fails me, as it sometimes does,
it's difficult being
the only person to blame.
Jameson Fitzpatrick is an editorial assistant at Barrow Street magazine and a poetry editor for LambdaLiterary.org. He lives in New York.