Sometimes you are the more elegant
of the two cigarettes in the cut glass ashtray.
Sometimes you are the smoke curling up
in the slow frame rate, cutting to mist
on a dark road rising. I feel such elation
when you grab my wrist and demand to know
about the diamonds or the carved falcon
made of diamonds painted black or when my wrist
in your fist compresses to diamond from this mess
of carbon I walk in. I wear my hair over one eye
to avoid depth. I drive my sister’s car.
She’ll take the rap for any wrong turns
en route to the rented flat where you photograph
me in a dragon armed chair against chinoiserie.
I was always an orchid coddled in the warmth.
It’s not a problem that you cock your gun
at the small of my sister’s back. She has a way of walking
that invites a man to try his aim. I don’t mind
the shallow nature of our lines. They’re still a pleasure
to mouth. You don’t need ropes anymore, or any
restraint. You can leave your hat on the table.
Rebecca Hazelton is the author of Fair Copy, winner of the 2011 Ohio State University Press / The Journal Award in Poetry, and Vow, from Cleveland State University Press. She was the 2010-11 Jay C. and Ruth Halls Poetry Fellow at the University of Wisconsin, Madison Creative Writing Institute and winner of the “Discovery” / Boston Review 2012 Poetry Contest. Her poems have appeared in AGNI, The Southern Review, Boston Review, Best New Poets 2011, and Best American Poetry 2013.