This is fine. This all will be fine. Perhaps now
I'll stand, arms open, on a rainy Paris day, thinking of things
that are not you.
You never wanted to see Paris, I know. You only said that
to make me want you.
Now I think I will take a class, a figure-drawing class,
spend hours studying bodies at arm's reach,
pencil their curves and lines, touch them in a way
you never touched me.
You told me I could not draw. I know, I'm no artist,
I realize that.
I feel fine. Like the fine in fine wine. Or the fine of fine china,
see-through fragile, yet solid enough to hold something
When you held me, it was after I sucked you dry, before you slept
heavily in dreams of others.
I look at a woman on the sidewalk now, and I see her
like you must have--how her hip shapes the skirt, how the skirt slips
between her legs.
I think now I will change my name. Not just my last name, that name
that is you, but my first name. I will be Scarlet, I think. Or maybe Violet.
I know I will be a color.
When you gave me your name, I wrapped myself inside it like an egg
in tissue paper. I drew the curve of the R for hours.
-Winner, 2010 Jim Haba Poetry Award