Jameson Fitzpatrick


The 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 I couldn’t see around the woman
       in front of me 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.

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