Something Old

The following poem, nicole was published by B City, a poetry magazine, in the spring of 1986. I was 23 years old. It’s just a reminder of who I thought I wanted to be, and that was the Korean e.e. cummings, except my name was capped.


nicole is nevada as science is silenced

by silhouetted kissers stripping their lips.

two embodiments of anti-light become one,

and then two and then one again.

schizo protozoan.

the aroma of drama

nears as shadows thin out

by a distant light.

the scent of death and sweat

sealed in an envelope is addressed

to nevada, who once was nicole.

“a frail young thang from memphis,” they all say.

one considered calling missing persons,

but couldn’t find their phone numbers,

one wrote sad love songs and tried to get

them played on the radio,

one relied on the science of luck,

and radio plays:

oh nicole, oh nicole,

you got a smile like coal,

but now you are nevada.

as two lovers part under

rising sunday morning

smoking cigarettes.

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