Summer, 2001 / No. 5

She goes from store to store

wanting to spend money on herself

to forget him, his belligerent asshole idiot self.

She gets fresh cash from the A.T.M.

Money is beautiful.

The days when bills slide out obediently

the sort of day she wants to meet someone new.

I want to fuck that bitch like nobody’s bizness;

he had said this with his chin lifted, a commendable politics

worth signing a petition

worth losing something over.

Women pushing babies. Starbucks sleepwalkers.

Blank light, indiscriminate shadows.

Glad for her wooden heels clicking

to the mall maybe. New clothes, some makeup.

Magazines. She has perfect fingers,

so fuck him. Fuck his wanderlust.

She picks up something to buy.

Paper-crisp twenties.

The two fives blue as delphinium.

Margaret Christakos lives in Little Portugal. Her works include the poetry collections Excessive Love Prostheses (Coach House, 2002) and Wipe Under a Love (Mansfield, 2000), and a novel, Charisma (Pedlar, 2000), which was short-listed for the 2001 Trillium Book Award. Last updated Christmas, 2002.