My side porch swing, my everything.
Meat and butter on the counter,
my sister the pouter.
My tall thin gray house,
my mother’s third spouse.
Green carpet on the stairs
and sticky kitchen chairs.
Sour sink rag, my flag girl flag.
Brown air conditioner box,
Why can’t I find matching socks?
A sister, a brother,
that crazy fucking mother.
Iron maiden in the tape deck,
One more hickey on my neck.
Roller skating rink,
Rusting Brillo pads under the sink,
Yellow corded phone over the bar,
she wondering where we are.
I requested a man with kindness running through his veins and a fire under his ass. Smile like the sun breaking through storm clouds. Instead I get a man who Facetimes me to play his guitar for 45 minutes. I get ex-cons, charlatans and fools. A wannabe spiritual guru starting his own religion. Babies in big hairy bodies who just want their mother. Men not yet 50 with one foot already in the grave.
The gods of online dating are not in my good graces, despite the fact that I get down on my knees every morning and beg them for perfectly reasonable things. I don’t know if they have weekly staff meetings but I’ve used up an entire notebook stuffing the suggestion box. They need to get their shit together. I don’t pay taxes for nothing.
And so last week, when I ran into one of them waiting at the bus stop, I had a few things to say. Whoa, whoa, whoa, he said his dirty and tattered wings dragging the ground. Slow your roll, lady. This is just a temporary gig until I can get back to my regular job. I was an angel once. We used to have real wings fashioned from unicorn feathers, not this cheap shit. The benefits suck. It ain’t what it used to be and every day I get people like you standing too close and talking too loud.
When he shook his head, angry, and blew cigarette smoke into the wind, I felt a little sizzle down there. In the eyes of this god, there spun a frothy film of insurgency. He was gritty and gorgeous.
What are you doing later? Can I buy you a drink, I asked hair flip and all. He grinned and took my hand. Later, as his snores echoed up through my crumpled linens, I had a fleeting thought that maybe it wasn’t them, the gods of online dating, that maybe it was me. That possibly my standards could be a little higher. Nah, couldn’t be.