Tony Gloeggler


Forty years old and suddenly
alone, he thanks God
for mail order, clips coupons
from the backs of magazines
he finds in the trash and seals
envelopes with his tongue.
Only his mailman Angelo
would believe the top shelves
of his closets are filled
with X-rated cassettes stacked
like big black building blocks.

When he hangs up his clothes
he feels good knowing
he owns all these women,
their long legs and hair,
their full lips and breasts,
smooth tight asses. Still
it takes longer each night
to get himself off and sleep.
Sometimes, he has to shut
his eyes, pretend he is thirteen
and the two women on the screen
are his mother's best friends,
Mrs. Ferrante and Mrs. DeLuca,
pouring melted candle wax
over each other's sun brown skin.
The blonde Double D cheerleader
is his ex-wife's baby sister
leaning forward, brushing
her hair in his rear view mirror.

The Vietnamese stripper
stroking her garter belt
and licking her red whip
is the weekend waitress
taking orders at the corner diner,
the one he is too afraid
to look in the eye
as he slowly sounds out
the letters printed on her pocket
and asks if her name
means something beautiful.

Tony Gloeggler is a native of NYC and manages group homes for the developmentally disabled in Brooklyn. His books include the chapbooks ONE ON ONE which won the Pearl Poetry Prize in 1998, TONY GLOEGGLER'S GREATEST HITS (Pudding House Publications, 2009) and two full length collections ONE WISH LEFT (Pavement Saw Press, 2000) which went into a second edition and THE LAST LIE (NYQ Books 2010). "Something Beautiful" was first published in The New York Quarterly.

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