Nebula1

By Jeri Thompson

(35 years later, for Sia)

I was the girl
Hanging onto the night
Clawing at the moon and stars
To stop their rotation.

Stoli on the rocks, six nights a week,
Dim Hollywood haunts,
Did nothing to blur the mirror’s
Lazy-eyed gaze back
At everyone’s good-time call.

Party girls don’t get hurt?
I gave myself away so many times
Looking for my treasure within strangers
Drought-fisted fingers and empty upturned hands.

I don’t give up easily (stubborn? probably), yet
All the bottomless cocktails and swinging from chandeliers
Did nothing to quell the rage of solitude
Inside all those vast, star-filled nights starving for touch…
Then next mornings with downcast-eyes, searching for my keys
and panties.

Tomorrow always comes, even if you don’t see the sun.
We all find our way, eventually, mapped out
In the gaze of that lazy-eyed stranger in our own mirror.
Soon, but not soon enough, you will no longer need the night.

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